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FOG THIS MORNING will hinder visibility and could be potentially hazardous for driving conditions. Stratus will also linger through the late afternoon before easterly winds clear things out. (NWS)
752 NEW COVID CASES (since last Friday) and two more deaths reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
FORT BRAGG CITIZEN GROUP UNABLE TO REACH CONSENSUS ON NAME CHANGE
by Mary Callahan
Confederate General Braxton Bragg never set foot in the North Coast town that bears his name, but his lingering shadow will not soon fade away.
Nor, it seems, will his name.
After wrestling for nearly 1 1/2 years with the painful issues of race, slavery and the mistreatment of local Indigenous people, a citizen commission convened to consider whether the city should shed the southern slaveholder’s name found consensus out of reach.
The group struggled to find cohesion through emotionally fraught terrain but did reach agreement on several recommendations. These were aimed primarily at redressing wrongs to the coast Indian tribes whose lands and people were stolen in times gone by and at ensuring all residents and visitors feel welcomed and included by the Mendocino Coast community.
But there was no agreement on the renaming idea, and a suggested rededication of the town to some other Bragg who lacked the general’s disagreeable legacy failed to find traction over the months the commission met — so polarizing is the overall subject.
“As a commission, we came to the conclusion that, at this time, because the citizens are so divided, this commission cannot unanimously recommend a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question of changing the name,” Cesar Yanez told the city council Monday night as part of the commission’s concluding presentation.
The 10 remaining members of the commission, which started August 2020 with a roster of 18, voted themselves 6-4 in favor of seeing the city renamed “sometime in the not-too-distant future” before their time together came to an end.
But in an unscientific survey conducted last year, the vast majority of participants opposed such a move.
The survey drew 1,649 responses, with 60% of those who weighed in voting “no,” compared to 14.6% who cast “yes” votes and a large number who were unsure.
Because participation was limited to those who received and read paper water bills from the city or who saw announcements in the local newspaper, in city council emails or on Facebook, commissioners determined the results were not at all reliable and only reflected strong feelings on both sides. The manner in which the survey was conducted also meant people from outside the city may have voted and some people could have voted multiple times, commissioner Christie Olson Day said.
“We did our best, and that’s what we got,” she said.
While commissioners spoke mostly from a preapproved script reflecting agreed-upon statements, the emotional complexity and contention they had experienced was clear from asides and from written statements several submitted later.
Those who have voiced support of keeping the Fort Bragg name, as some commissioners and Councilman Lindy Peters did Monday night, said Bragg’s happenstance connection with their singular coastal town had nothing to do with racist sympathies.
“This town is not honoring this man. Never have,” said Peters, the only council member to speak at any length at what had been a time set aside for the commission’s report. “We were named in 1857. It’s now 2020.”
Gabriel Quinn Maroney, a commissioner who had formerly advocated for adoption of a new name, said he no longer believed the council should consider taking such action, given widespread opposition.
“When this community is ready to change the name, if ever, then that’s when it should happen, I think,” he said.
Others, like Commissioner Marshall Carr Jr., the only Black commissioner after the death of one other Black member last year, said consensus on the renaming issue had always been unlikely, given the diversity of viewpoints sought for the commission in the first place.
But, he said, “I firmly believe it should be changed. It will give this town a chance to rebrand around inclusivity and acknowledgment of those who were here before and in turn drive more tourism toward our tourist driven economy.”
The volunteer commission was appointed in the summer of 2020 amid a nationwide reckoning with racism and the country’s history of slavery in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, a Black man, in the custody of three white Minneapolis police officers.
It resulted in part with a campaign to remove Confederate monuments from public spaces and jettison all symbols glorifying the defense of Black slavery. One outcome was a vote by Congress to rename 10 Army bases named for Confederate military leaders, including Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Its namesake is Braxton Bragg.
Many in the predominantly white Mendocino Coast city of about 7,200 similarly think they should part ways with the general, a U.S. Army officer who distinguished himself in the Mexican-American War and later came out of retirement on his Louisiana sugar plantation to serve as a commander in the Confederate Army and adviser to southern President Jefferson Davis.
“This problem will not go away,” Day told the council and wrote in a personal statement submitted later. “This will be an issue as long as we choose to keep the name. There are many helpful actions you can take, but waiting it out is not among them.”
That an isolated fishing and logging town on the North Coast should end up sharing his name was almost accidental. An officer who had served under Bragg well before the Civil War chose Bragg’s name for an Army outpost established at the mouth of the Noyo River in 1857. Soldiers assigned there were tasked with subduing rebellious tribes and ran a containment camp that was part of an ugly legacy of enslavement and bloodshed in the region.
The history, said commissioner Andy Wellspring, a high school history teacher, “is grim.”
“Amends need to be made by this town,” he said.
But Pomo descendants don’t automatically agree that renaming the city should be part of that.
Commission member Lucy Stanley, a local elder in the Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians, said it was the community of Fort Bragg that hid and protected her great-great-grandparents after they escaped from Round Valley in inland Mendocino County, where members of different tribes had been relocated.
Like Councilwoman Marcia Rafanan said after her, many tribal members and other locals grew up proud of their community without knowing who Braxton Bragg was.
Commission member Nicki Caito-Urbani said the 60-hours-plus of meetings were draining and difficult, and led to some sleepless nights.
But with people on both sides of the question dug in, she said in an interview, the most feasible option might be rededication.
“We only pay homage to Braxton Bragg if it’s actually named after him,” she said.
There remained so many unanswered questions and concerns about renaming — things like the cost of relabeling city property and impacts to all the businesses with “Fort Bragg” in the name — that a good deal more consideration would be needed, even if public opinion started to swing that way.
“If it doesn’t come from a united front, I just feel that the divide it would cause in the community is horrific,” she said.
Unanimous recommendations from the Fort Bragg Citizen Commission on Renaming Create city policy to prioritize Land Back to local coastal tribes:
Formalize an official agreement to work with local coastal tribes in recognition of their sovereignty and continued stewardship of the land.
Support the creation of a cultural center to demonstrate, educate and honor the way of life that existed pre-contact and to honor the many cultures that exist today.
Appoint a city council ad hoc to facilitate discussion with schools and local tribes toward presenting a more complete and inclusive history.
Support an outdoor event to encourage the local arts, sciences and culture/economy, showcasing the diverse community.
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
NEW CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, Ted Williams, took a remarkable step this morning: During the opening period of Public Comment, Ted engaged the frustrated spokeswoman for the group known as ‘The Patriots’ who for weeks, in her 3 minute Public Comment has attempted to get the Board to return to chambers and open sessions, engaged her in an unexpected dialog regarding the conditions of participation of the public in the chambers re: masks and social distancing. He did so kindly and unexpectedly. . . Usually the Board is totally unresponsive to the Public's Comments. You could hear in the woman's voice her combativeness melt as the new Chair engaged her. Kudos, Ted.
P.S. You can view the exchange on Mendocino County Video Board of Supervisors 1/25/2022 . . . about 14 minutes into the video.
CZARINA OF LOCAL SOCIAL MEDIA
Who Controls Your Local Social Media Content?
Social media in our local area has been a good tool for getting information out to our friends and the public in general about events, protests, farmers markets, benefits, etc. , along with important assets such as our own MCN listserv. These information outlets have become much more important since we have lost almost all of our local media. The Fort Bragg Advocate and the Mendocino Beacon are the last “local” papers, but even they are but a small piece of a large corporate news agency. They aren’t even located on the coast anymore. Our weekly newspapers come from an office in Ukiah. Having an open news source relevant to our neighborhood here on the coast or anywhere in Mendocino County is more important than ever. When the Mendocino County 4th District Facebook page originally showed up I joined right away. Same with Mendocino County 5th District, as it was also relevant to my neighborhood here in Fort Bragg. Our supervisors seemed to comment there on occasion and it was a good place for local events and discussion. That has changed.
Until recently, I didn’t pay much attention other than I was a member of the group(s) and I occasionally commented on something. Recently, I found the need to start posting my own articles about local issues with Mendocino Railway. That is when I became aware of Kathy Wylie. From the first share on both 4th and 5th district pages there seemed to be an attempt to get me to edit my work prior to having the posts accepted. Then there were issues with comments as well. Some people's comments and replies were quickly removed when they agreed with my articles. It finally got to a point where after an online back and forth with her, she banned me from both pages. (Images 2 and 3). I then started posting on Mendocino County 5th District (Community Edition), as well as other friendlier pages. Yesterday I started Mendocino 4th District From The Coast.
So why even bring this up? Here’s why, Kathy Wylie runs the following Facebook pages that I know of from Laytonville:
Mendocino County 1st District
Mendocino County 2nd District
Mendocino County 3rd District
Mendocino County 4th District
Mendocino County 5th District
You know you're in Albion
I am pretty sure there are more but those are the ones I know about. After joining Mendocino County 5th District Community Edition, I started reading about others who were going through or had been banned from one of Wylie’s pages for minor offenses or no offense at all. By just not having the same viewpoints as Wylie or attempting to argue their point. I’m not going to go on about freedom of speech rights or anything so basic. What I am doing is taking a close look at media manipulation. The six pages I listed, plus more I’m sure are all have large memberships. In the thousands. People want their posts to appear on these pages. People, for the most part, will accept editing and censorship in order to have even some of their views on a popular page.
With all of this monitoring, editing and censoring, it seems like much more than one person would be capable of doing. Almost like there is more than one Kathy Wylie taking on the task.
It gets weirder though. Kathy Wylie is the current, as well as a former foreman of the Mendocino Grand Jury. One 5th District group member was banned from all of Wylie’s pages for bringing up two federal corruption lawsuits involving Mendocino County. I have been banned because I write somewhat controversial articles about Mendocino Railway, which, from what I understand there are complaints filed with the Grand Jury about their land acquisition here in Fort Bragg.
So the question becomes, should Kathy Wylie recuse herself from the Grand Jury so she can allow posts about things she may not be supposed to hear about or have an opinion on? Or, should Kathy Wylie recuse herself from Facebook in order to keep an objective viewpoint about up and coming cases? Or maybe she should recuse herself from being a real estate broker. One thing is clear, there seems to be the appearance of conflict.
BRUCE BRODERICK is justly suspicious of facebook pages seemingly controlled by the hawk-eyed Kathy Wylie, active Democratic Party stalwart and, thereby, middle-of-the-road extremist heart and soul committed to… Well, more of the same. Ms. Wylie seems awfully fast with delete when an opinion pops up that violates, in her eyes, either the party catechism or her own inviolable stations of the cross. Former supervisor McCowen mentioned recently his entirely reasonable criticism of CEO Angelo was deemed “hate speech” and canceled. I've noted that Ms. Wylie, and long time Democratic Party gang girl Val Muchowski, faithfully post every brain-numbing announcement wafting their way from state and national Democrats who, for those of you who came in so late you've had to have been buried in a time capsule somewhere, control political life on the Northcoast. Well, hell, nothing to do but admire the ladies' vigilance while wondering at their devotion to a party and a political system long ago rendered incapable of doing much of anything for everyday Americans, and directly responsible for the rise of Trumpian fascism.
PRIME EXAMPLES of Democratic absence or simple treachery? Commercial logging on state property. Where's assemblyman Wood and state senator McGuire? The astonishing ongoing scam that has placed the old Northwestern Pacific Railroad in the private hands of former congressman Doug Bosco. The Great Redwood Highway, presently and forever consisting of three or four miles of pavement through industrial Ukiah at a cost — pick a number, it fluctuates — of between $3 and $6 million, including a charming eventual southern terminus at Ukiah's sewage treatment plant whose piss pond is touted by the Demos as a respite area for migrating waterfowl. The coal train scare. Etc. At the federal level we have corporate party hack Jared Huffman, an auto-yes vote for everything from the fantasy that Biden is a functioning president to the non-existent RussiaGate scandal. As most of you are at least dimly aware, you are represented by exactly no one at all levels of local government.
AS PREDICTED, DARCIE ANTLE, on the usual 5-0 vote, has been named Interim County CEO for a term not to exceed 12 months. Antle's qualifications? She and outgoing CEO Carmel Angelo met at Ms. Antle's Ukiah wine bar where, incidentally, they were often joined by DA Dave Eyster for jolly booze threesomes. Are you saying here that simply meeting someone in a Ukiah wine bar can lead to a job as one of the County's highest paid administrators? Evidently.
DEFT THERAPIST WORK by Supervisor Williams Tuesday morning when, as usual, an angry woman named Carrie Shattuck, Mendocino Patriot and maskless Co-op invader, zoomed in to rightly complain that it's way past time for the Supervisors to return to public meetings. Mendo has a from-the-public rule that limits speakers to three minutes, and no more than ten minutes on a single subject. Ordinarily, the Supes don't respond to public comment, both out of inexperience at adult give and take and rude indifference to what the public thinks since their positions are relatively secure. Anyway, Williams, adopting the velvety, non-threatening tones of the trained first responder that he is, got Ms. Shattuck, a single issue person if there ever was one, to at least agree to mask up when meetings are again public.
THE FROM-THE-PUBLIC limits were instituted years ago when an exasperated Supervisor Cimolino, the dyspeptic 4th District supervisor, suddenly shouted, “Do we really have to listen to these nuts?” I recall that Cimolino was specifically reacting to a presentation by Richard Johnson, a ubiquitous open mike presence and, viewed from here, a wonderfully comic Mendo character we dubbed, “The One True Green” for his dogged domination of Green Party politics, a domination that resulted in a Green Party of one person — him. Cimolino was not amused by Johnson or anybody else he viewed as a “hippie.”
PUBLIC COMMENTS TO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, Tuesday, January 25, 2022:
 Good Evening,
I live in Chico, CA and have been visiting Fort Bragg for over 20 years. It is one of my favorite places. My husband has been going since childhood. We come to visit for romantic weekends, on special occasions, and we come with his family for the holidays almost every year. It's a special place to us. Normally, during our visits we stop at Glass Beach. Over the years, I've seen the glass dramatically reduce which is no surprise. I'm used to seeing folks with a handful of shells and glass or kids putting it in their pockets. But, when I was there in January 2022...I was disturbed. I saw people with buckets, gallon ziplocks and grocery bags full of glass. I saw folks digging with their hands and hand tools which really upset me. The tsunami warning didn't seem to phase them. I think there needs to be a fine or some action for taking the glass. If there is a fine in place already, it needs to be enforced and more signage present in parking lot. I just hope Glass Beach is there for future generations and it can be preserved, at least what's left.
Thank you for your time.
Lenette (last name omitted by commenter)
* * *
 Dear Supervisors,
For over three years now, residents in the Simpson Lane/Mitchell Creek Dr. neighborhood have had to actively oppose a variety of efforts attempting to permit commercial cannabis production in our residential zone. The currently permitted cannabis producers in our neighborhood, who are subject to a sunset deadline this year, and their legal team continue to try everything they can to remain, despite 90% opposition from the surrounding property owners (according to a county survey). The Board of Supervisors delayed the 2020 sunset deadline to 2022 to placate them but here they are, at it again, with an application for continued cannabis production and a preposterous request for the suspension of the 2022 sunset deadline.
I want to remind you of our commitment in opposition to commercial development of any kind in our residential neighborhood. And I want to remind you of your commitment to the 2022 sunset deadline at which time there will be zero permitted cannabis operations in this RR2 zone.
We tire of playing Whack-a-Mole – making phone calls, writing letters, sending emails, and having meetings each time one of the growers tries another tactic. We have had enough. We respectfully request that you aver that there will be no cannabis production permits issued in the Simpson Lane/Mitchell Creek Drive neighborhood and that the 2022 sunset deadline remain in effect.
‘AN IMPORTANT VICTORY’: Native American tribes reclaim a redwood forest in Northern California
by Kurtis Alexander
Deep in the mountains of Mendocino County, nearly 200 acres of old-growth redwoods, chronically threatened by logging, have long stood on a plot known as Andersonia West, well beyond the reach and awareness of most Californians — at least since Native Americans lived there.
Today, in a story that goes full circle, this ancient grove of trees has garnered permanent protection and the land is back in the hands of those who call it home.
The deal, to be announced Tuesday, was orchestrated by San Francisco conservation group Save the Redwoods League. The organization purchased the wooded swath two years ago and last month transferred its ownership to the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, which represents tribal nations with historical ties to the area. Covenants on the property ensure the forest’s preservation.
Before becoming a bastion of logging over the past century and a half, the Lost Coast was the hunting, fishing and ceremonial grounds of the Sinkyone people. The villages of Indigenous communities flanked the region for thousands of years.
With European settlement, however, the native residents were largely killed off or forced from the land in a dark chapter of California’s past.
The Sinkyone Council, established in 1986, has sought to reconnect descendants of the Sinkyone people to their historical territory. The organization advocates for protection of forests and streams along California’s North Coast and maintains its own preserve, the 3,845-acre InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness.
The group’s new property, which is being renamed Tc’ih-Léh-Dûñ — meaning “fish run place” in the Sinkyone language — is only a few miles northwest of its flagship preserve.
“This land fits within the objective of nurturing a mosaic of lands along the Lost Coast and hopefully much farther,” Rosales said.
The Sinkyone Council intends to work with Save the Redwoods League, which retains an easement on the property, to care for the land and restore its natural character. There is no plan for public access, though tribal members may visit in the future for cultural purposes.
Sam Hodder, president and CEO of Save the Redwoods League, said donating the plot to the Sinkyone Council was not only a smart thing to do to meet his group’s objective of responsibly stewarding the land but it was the right thing to do.
“This is an opportunity to heal both the forest itself and the culture of the landscape,” he said.
Save the Redwoods League is part of a loose consortium of state and federal government agencies and nonprofit organizations that has collectively protected about 180,000 acres of forest on the Lost Coast. Some of the land consists of old-growth redwoods. Only about 5% of the age-old trees still stand across their historical range from central California to southern Oregon.
The property recently donated was acquired by Save the Redwoods League in July 2020 for $3.55 million from a family that had sparsely logged the area. The purchase was paid for with funding from Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s mitigation program, a fund set up to offset impacts from the utility’s electric grid.
The recent donation follows a similar land deal a decade ago. Save the Redwoods League transferred a 164-acre property north of Tc’ih-Léh-Dûñ, known as Four Corners, to the Sinkyone Council in 2012.
“It’s absolutely the goal to have it happen more,” Hodder said. “It is a positive on so many levels.”
To all BOS:
After being a long time resident of Mendocino County and also an employee of Mendocino County, I believe the position of Chief Executive Officer should revert back to the position of CAO, Chief Administrative Officer.
The management of our county needs to be placed squarely on the positions of our Board of Supervisors, who are elected by the people of Mendocino County. We have no say in the process of hiring the CEO, which position has ultimately far too much power.
Please consider changing the most highest decision making position in Mendocino County to the people's choice of elected Board of Supervisors so that people can have more direct discussion and input with those who are managing our county, and the Board of Supervisors will be able to make the ultimate decisions.
Thank you for your consideration.
A READER COMMENTS: “Ms. Schafer believes the CEO tells the BOS what to do and changing to a CAO will restore the decision making ability of the BOS. Ms. Schafer can be forgiven for thinking this because currently the CEO treats the Supervisors like trained circus poodles who perform on cue, their chief task being to rubberstamp the CEO’s pre-determined outcomes.”
NEWSOM HAS BIG PLANS TO GET RID OF CALIFORNIA’S HOMELESS CAMPS. WILL THEY WORK?
by Marisa Kendall
After pouring an unprecedented $12 billion into homeless housing and services last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom now is turning to the massive tent camps, shanty-towns and make-shift RV parks that have taken over California’s streets, parks and open spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a never-before-seen effort, the governor is doling out $50 million this winter to help cities and counties clear out camps and house people living outside. San Jose, Richmond and Santa Cruz are among those that might benefit. Newsom hopes to increase that investment 10-fold in the coming year’s budget and add $1.5 billion to house people with behavioral health conditions. In charge of it all will be Newsom’s new state homelessness council, co-chaired by none other than the face of California’s COVID response — Dr. Mark Ghaly.
“This is probably one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime type funding that we’re seeing from the state,” said Michelle Milam, crime prevention manager for the Richmond Police Department and a member of the city’s homelessness task force. “We’ve never seen this kind of investment from the state for encampments.”
She and other local officials and nonprofit leaders, who have been battling a growing homelessness crisis for years with little help from the state, are grateful and hopeful.
But, they say, the money won’t be nearly enough. The funds Newsom has set aside for encampments are one-time grants, not the kind of ongoing investment cities need to make a lasting dent in finding permanent homes for unhoused Californians, experts say.
They acknowledge that focusing on encampments is a smart political move by the governor, but getting people out of camps and into temporary shelters isn’t a solution if there is no affordable housing.
“I think we would want to look at it a little bit more holistically,” said Christopher Martin, policy director for the advocacy organization Housing California. “We need to address all facets of homelessness, not just encampments.”
Richmond is one of more than three dozen cities and counties that have applied for one of Newsom’s new encampment resolution grants, which will be awarded by March 1. Although there is about $50 million available, the state has received requests for $120 million. Newsom has proposed allocating another $500 million in this year’s budget.
If selected, Richmond would use the money to clear a camp of more than 100 people living off Castro Street in cars, RVs and trailers.
Echoing the experience of many cities, such camps exploded in Richmond during the pandemic as shelters reduced their capacity and federal health officials recommended leaving encampments be. With the money from the state — Milam is hoping for several million dollars — Richmond would create a housing trust fund exclusively for Castro Street occupants to use for rent, job training, vehicle repairs and anything else that could help them move into stable housing.
“It’s more than just closing down an encampment,” Milam said. “It’s making sure people have an opportunity to successfully transition.”
San Jose also has applied for a grant, requesting $2 million to house people camped along the Guadalupe River Trail between Arena Green and the Children’s Discovery Museum.
And in Santa Cruz County, officials are hoping the money would help them try out a new strategy that gets people more involved in finding their own housing, said Robert Ratner, the county’s director of Housing for Health. They would award “housing scholarships” to encampment residents, and then work with the residents to spend that money in whatever way makes most sense for them.
The governor’s office also is leading a “100-day challenge” this year focused on homeless encampments.
A handful of counties, including Santa Cruz and Sacramento, will work with the Rapid Results Institute on new solutions to the crisis. Sacramento County hopes to house 43 people by April 14 during the program, and start another 43 on the path toward housing. Santa Cruz County hopes to house 40 people and get another 100 into the pipeline.
And this year, Newsom launched a new agency to oversee the state’s efforts on homelessness — the California Interagency Council on Homelessness, co-chaired by Ghaly and Business, Consumer Services and Housing Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez. The agency has new authority to hold cities and counties accountable. When seeking funding, local officials now must lay out detailed plans for the money. If they don’t meet certain benchmarks, they get less money.
When asked if Newsom’s strategies to reduce homeless encampments will work, Jason Elliott, senior counselor to the governor, said they already are.
“We understand people are frustrated. But we also are proud of 58,000 people who have come off the streets since this pandemic broke open,” he said, referring to Newsom’s Project Roomkey, which moved unhoused people into hotels, and Homekey, which created longer-term housing. “That’s how much worse it would have been.”
But one-time grants only go so far, Milam said. For years, Richmond had been working on opening a safe-parking site for people living in RVs. After an intense backlash from some neighbors, the city ultimately dropped the idea. Milam says that’s where the state needs to step in.
“We need some support from the state. We’re drowning,” Milam said. “The funding helps. We’re very appreciative of the funding. But there’s got to be more at the policy level to help us come up with some creative solutions to try to support people.”
Angelina Peña, who lives in an RV in the Castro Street encampment in Richmond, has lost faith in the state and in her city to give unhoused people the help they need. Peña, who makes $18 an hour doing outreach for nonprofit Safe, Organized Spaces three days a week, dreams of having her own home, opening a thrift store and getting custody back of her two sons.
A grant from the state could go a long way toward helping her reach those goals. But after many disappointments, Peña isn’t holding her breath.
“I’m not going to depend on them. I can’t,” she said. “It’s hard to take their word for it because they haven’t come through.”
(Courtesy, Chico Enterprise Record.)
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 25, 2022
EDWARD ESQUIVEL, Willits. Controlled substance transportation and for sale, suspended license for DUI.
CURTIS EVANS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
RIGOBERTO FLORES, Point Arena. Concentrated cannabis, controlled substance, resisting.
RACHEL HUNT, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
LAUREL MARVIN, Santa Cruz/Willits. DUI with blood-alcohol greater than 0.15%, suspended license.
MICHAEL MCDANIEL, Fort Bragg. Trespassing, resisting.
ARTEMIO ORTEGA-REYES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
AVERY PARSONS, Fort Bragg. Protective order violation.
AN EARLIER BIG LIE IN US HISTORY
(From Who What Why)
No matter your perspective, you’re probably asking yourself: Why in the world is WhoWhatWhy publishing a series about the John F. Kennedy assassination now?
Why, with so many crises clamoring for attention, focus on a tragedy dating back almost 60 years? The answer, it turns out, can be found right in those fresh crises.
Today, America is divided as perhaps never before seen in our lifetimes, with an epic disagreement over the most basic of facts, including who rightfully should wield power.
Yet, to this day, a majority of Americans of all belief sets share a common creed: They do not buy the official explanation for the violent transfer of power occasioned by the murder of the 35th president.
The loss of confidence in the establishment, in the media, in voting systems, and in credentialed “expertise” has its roots in lies of long ago. Sadly, those unresolved lies are now being exploited by the cynical for their own purposes. One result is the demonstrably baseless claim that Donald Trump actually won in 2020.
This much is clear: The Kennedy assassination is an ongoing study in the power of misinformation. After all these years, most media continue to dismiss widespread — and justifiable — public skepticism of the Warren Commission report, with its urgency to rubber stamp J. Edgar Hoover’s non-investigation “investigation” that laid the tragedy solely at the feet of Lee Harvey Oswald, the “disgruntled loner seeking attention,” who bafflingly told police he did not do it. In fact, he declared himself “just a patsy.”
That story never made sense on any level, and the evidence points to more powerful — and more likely — suspects. Yet it remains the song sung by Washington and by the consensus-seeking media, and that leaves the field open to truly dubious “theories,” like the suggestion put forward last month — this time not by Trump but by his supposedly more credible enemies — that the real culprit behind the assassination might actually be a familiar bogeyman: Russia.
Cleaning up the tangle of underbrush from our murky history can go a long way to establishing the primacy of carefully documented facts over lies, innuendo, and cover-up by all parties.
Moreover, the Kennedy assassination story is not ancient, static history. It has never stopped unfolding. In 1992, Congress, responding to a wave of public interest following Oliver Stone’s feature film JFK, unanimously passed the JFK Records Act, mandating full disclosure of all government documents related to Kennedy’s death.
Yet 30 years after that law passed, the authorities — principally the American spy agencies — are still dragging their feet, releasing batches only sporadically while still withholding thousands of documents, and blacking out information in thousands more.
Stone, troubled by the lack of progress, is back with his latest look at the evidence, this time in a documentary. At WhoWhatWhy, we’re also remaining active on this front. Currently, we are examining the latest document release from December 2021.
And we’re keeping a sharp eye out for supposedly exemplary establishment “historians” and “experts” who peddle new, dangerous lies — like blaming Kennedy’s death on Russia — a reckless stratagem now that the US and Russia find themselves again edging toward the brink.
It is with this background in mind that we invite you to read a new series of articles on the topic:
Revisiting JFK: Oliver Stone’s thorough debunking of the Warren Commission report is required viewing for all Americans.
Who’s Afraid of JFK Revisited? The Washington Post — and the CIA.
What the media keeps getting wrong about the JFK records story.
The new “big lie” about the JFK assassination: blaming Russia.
TOM WAITS: “I think you start out trying to sound like somebody else,” he said. “Even Ray Charles was trying to sound like Nat King Cole, but there already was one. So, he really had to dig deep and find out if there was something on another level that he was yet to discover.
“At the same time, I don't really think there is anything genuinely new under the sun. You get to be king of the glove compartment or king of the fishbowl for a while, and then you're gone.”
“I found a voice. I think there are other voices in there and I'm still looking for it,”
“It's more like an actor – I play a lot of murderers or husbands. Someday I'd like to play a coal miner or a snake charmer or something.
“I think inside every song there are other songs. But I also think, inside your voice, there are other voices that you have yet to discover and that's kind of why you are here.”
- ABC Interview
NEIL YOUNG DEMANDS SPOTIFY CHOOSE BETWEEN HIS MUSIC OR JOE ROGAN’S PODCASTS
Legendary musician Neil Young issued an ultimatum to the Spotify streaming music service to choose between his music or Joe Rogan’s podcasts.
Young posted an open letter to Spotify, which entered into a $100 million deal with Rogan to host his podcasts, calling on it to dump Rogan over what he saw as misinformation on the coronavirus.
“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” wrote Young. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”
Rogan has been criticized by many for advocating for alternate treatments for the coronavirus. In one instance, he advised younger people to avoid the vaccine because their death and hospitalization risk was so low.
“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” said Young to his management team and record label. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I love how right-wingers are absolutely obsessed with CNN. Personally, I never watch any cable news because it’s all garbage. But it’s hilarious how right-wingers absolutely adore Fox, the poster child of cable fake news, and crow about how Fox has the highest ratings of any cable “news” network while also pretending it isn’t “mainstream media”, which they claim to abhor. Meanwhile. CNN’s ratings are very low but, apparently, CNN is “the enemy of the people” (the very few people who watch it, I guess?) and is responsible, in the minds of right-wingers, for all manner of lies and propaganda that have brainwashed the America-hating masses who, again, it must be stressed, do not watch CNN very much. The cognitive dissonance on the right is truly mind-boggling. How do they keep up with such a twisted set of mythologies?
ON JAN. 23, 1963, A 20-YEAR-OLD COLLEGE DROPOUT from Port Arthur, TX began hitchhiking to San Francisco along with her friend Chet Helms. She was going there in order to become a singer. Chet, who had a band in mind for her to sing with, would become one of the major concert promoters in San Francisco with his "Family Dog" series of concerts.
The 20 year old college dropout….. Janis Joplin. The band Chet wanted to put her with, Big Brother and the Holding Company.
All journeys whether small or large start with the first step. Especially this one which started 59 years ago today.
TRUMAN CAPOTE IN KEY WEST
Truman Capote was in a bar in Key West with Tennessee Williams when a woman came over to the table where they were sitting and asked Capote to autograph her navel with an eyebrow pencil. She handed him the pencil and pulled up her t-shirt. "Just write it like you would the numerals around a clock," she said. So Capote wrote his name around her navel. T-R-U-M-A-N-C-A-P-O-T-E. She returned to her table, but her husband got up, seemingly quite enraged. He came over to Capote, eyebrow pencil in hand and, as Capote relates, hauled out his equipment and howled, "Since you're autographing everything how'd you like to autograph this?" Truman paused and said, "Well, I don't know if I can autograph it, but perhaps I could initial it."
— The Florida Keys, Joy Williams
JEFF BLANKFORT: Rep. Huffman is only one of two members of the California Congressional delegation and the only one north of Los Angeles to sign Rep. Betty McCollum's bill HR 2590 designed to protect Palestinian children and prevent the demolition of Palestinian houses by the minions of Washington's Israeli overseers.
LET’S NOT HAVE A WAR
by Matt Taibbi
The American foreign policy establishment, chasing decades of failures, appears to be seriously considering the unthinkable in Ukraine.
Joe Biden last week said the American response in Ukraine would be proportional to Vladimir Putin’s actions. “It depends,” the president posited, thoughts drifting like blobs in a lava lamp. “It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion…”
Alarms sounded all over Washington. The rip in the national political illusion was so severe, Republicans and Democrats were forced to come out agreeing, leaping into each other’s arms in panic. Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who increasingly looks like a man about to miss a historically important free throw, said of a potential Russian invasion, “We can make crystal clear the stark consequences of that choice.” Republican Senator Ted Cruz said Biden “shocked the world by giving Putin a green light to invade Ukraine.” The National Security Council issued a statement through Jen Psaki that any Russian move into Ukraine would be “met with a swift, severe, and united response.”
In a later press conference, Biden explained he had to cut things short because, “You guys will ask me all about Russia.” He appears days from pulling his pants down to show reporters the electrodes White House chief of staff Ron Klain has probably attached to his testicles by now.
This is a rerun of an old story, only with a weaker lead actor. Six years ago, Barack Obama gave an interview to The Atlantic quashing Beltway militarists’ dreams of war in Ukraine:
The fact is that Ukraine, which is a non-Nato country, is going to be vulnerable to military domination by Russia no matter what we do… This is an example of where we have to be very clear about what our core interests are and what we are willing to go to war for.
Then as now, both blue and red propaganda outlets howled. The “core interest” of the Washington consensus is war. It isn’t just big business, but our biggest business, one of the last things we still make and export on a grand scale. The bulk of the people elected to congress and a lion’s share of the lobbyists, lawyers, and journalists who snuggle in a giant fornicating mass in the capital are dedicated to the upkeep of the war bureaucracy.
Their main purpose is growing the defense budget and militarizing the missions of other government agencies (from State to the Department of Energy to the CIA). Washington think-tanks exist to factory-generate intellectual justifications for foreign interventions, while attacking with ferocity — as if they were emergencies like pandemics or deadly hurricanes — the appearance of ideas like the “peace dividend” that threaten to move any of their rice bowls to some other constituency.
Both Biden’s comments and the “Obama doctrine” were fundamental betrayals, presidents saying out loud that there existed such a thing as “our” interests separate from Washington’s war pig clique. The latter group somehow believes itself impervious to error, and takes extraordinary offense to challenges to its judgment, amazing given the spectacular failures in every arena from Iraq to Afghanistan to Syria.
These people consistently lose popularity contests to cannibals and fingernail-pullers, and their playbook — one play they run over and over, never deviating despite decades of disaster — is designed to reduce every foreign policy situation to contests of force. Their wag-the-dog thinking always argues the right move is the one that allows them to empty their boxes of expensive toys, from weapons systems to Langley-generated schemes for overthrows, which a compliant press happily calls regime change.
Obama looked at the big, muddy stretch of land atop the Black Sea called Ukraine and asked if its strategic importance was worth war. Meaning, real war, with an enemy that can fight back, not third-world pushovers in Iraq or Libya who offer as much resistance as the British colonial enemies Blackadder’sofficers once described as being “two feet tall and armed with dried grass.” His answer was an obvious no. Ukraine has less strategic importance to the United States than Iraq, Afghanistan, even Kuwait for that matter.
No one will say it out loud, but the greatest argument against U.S. support for military action of any kind in Ukraine is the inerrant incompetence of our missions and the consistent record of destabilizing areas of strategic interest through our involvement, including in these two specific countries. At the moment the Berlin Wall fell the United States had almost limitless political capital with these soon-to-be ex-Soviet territories. We blew it all within a few years. Now that we’re really in trouble in Ukraine, why would we keep to the same playbook that got us here?
Our plan with every foreign country that falls into our orbit is the same. We ride in as saviors, throwing loans in all directions to settle debts (often to us), then let it be known the country’s affairs will henceforth be run through our embassy. Since we’re ignorant of history and have long viewed diplomats too in sync with local customs as liabilities, we tend to fill our embassies with people who have limited sense of the individual character of host countries, their languages, or the attitudes of people outside the capital.
Instead of devising individual policies, we go through identical processes of receiving groups of local politicians seeking our backing. We throw our weight behind the courtiers we like best. The winning supplicants are usually Western educated, speak great English, know how to flatter drunk diplomats, and are fluent in neoliberal wonk-speak.
We back Our Men in Havana to the hilt, no matter how corrupt they may become in their rule, a process we call “democracy promotion.” The cycle is always ends the same way, whether we’re talking about Hamid Karzai or Ayad Allawi or Boris Yeltsin. The white hat ally turns out to be either overmatched or a snake, usually the latter, and siphons off Western aid to himself and his cronies in huge quantities while smashing opposition by any means necessary. That brutality and corruption, combined with efforts to implement our structural adjustment policies (read: austerity, and the de-nationalization of natural resources) inevitably results in loss of popular support and/or the rise of opposition movements on the right, the left, or both.
Rising discontent in turn inspires further requests from the puppet for security aid, which we happily provide, since that ultimately is the whole point: selling weapons to foreigners to fill those Washington rice bowls. You will soon hear it in the form of increased calls for defense spending amid the Ukraine mess, but we’ve been at it forever.
We started selling drones to “allies” under Obama and escalated the practice under Trump with billions in sales to peaceful democratic havens like the UAE, who had already used them to massacre civilian populations, children included, in Yemen. We continued escalating such sales under Biden, adding countries like Qatar to our list of excellent customers in part with the idea of using the country as a base for “over-the-horizon” strikes in an Afghanistan bereft of “boots on the ground.” Even after our disastrous wars finish, we find ways to continue them.
This is relevant to Russia and Ukraine because we’ve cycled through at least half of the usual failure process with both countries. Just a couple of decades ago we essentially controlled the Kremlin, but so completely mismanaged that situation with aggressive backing of a notoriously corrupt Yeltsin regime that Vladimir Putin was able to consolidate power with widespread backing of a public initially much disposed to us. Ukraine we treated as a pawn nation from the start, backing a series of leaders who shamelessly looted the country before forcing them into a miserable Sophie’s Choice, about which the American public still knows little.
In 2013, Ukraine was proceeding down a path of integration into the E.U. Paul Manafort client Viktor Yanukovich, always described in America as an outright puppet of Moscow, was actually a proponent of Euro-integration at this point. “Yanukovich cajoled and bullied anyone who pushed for Ukraine to have closer ties to Russia” is how Reuters correspondent Liz Piper described his attitude, quoting him as saying to those wanting to go back to Russia’s arms, “Forget about it.. forever!” But Putin’s ferocious tactics, including intense economic and military threats, pushed Yanukovich to back out of the EU deal, and take instead an economic trade package with Russia that included $15 billion and the lowering by a third the price the country paid for natural gas from Russia.
This, in turn, spurred a Western response via the “Maidan revolution,” really a U.S.-backed coup, in which Yanukovich was replaced with someone more suitable to our foreign policy geniuses. “Yats is our guy” is how our current undersecretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland put it, insisting that Arseniy Yatsenuk be Ukraine’s next leader, even though Ukrainians might have preferred former boxer Vitaly Klitschko. When apprised some of the E.U. countries were uncomfortable with a coup, Nuland famously said, “Fuck the E.U.” Forget gunboats, here was F-bomb diplomacy!
Putin responded by annexing Crimea, which in turn led to the moment when Barack Obama made his decision to drop the bluff and stop the escalation. His reasoning was simple: Ukraine was always going to matter more to Russia than to the United States, and when push came to shove, he, Obama, wasn’t going to war over it. Moreover, because the hawks in Washington would never come out and say they would, either – “If there’s somebody in this town that would claim that we would consider going to war with Russia over Crimea and eastern Ukraine, they should speak up and be very clear about it,” he challenged – the issue instead would keep being presented as an improper defiance of consensus:
There’s a playbook in Washington that presidents are supposed to follow… And the playbook prescribes responses to different events, and these responses tend to be militarized responses… You are judged harshly if you don’t follow the playbook, even if there are good reasons.
Obama was nearing the end of his term. In saying all this he was probably motivated in part by a desire to spite the Hillary Clinton loyalists in the national security establishment he imagined would soon be taking over. They had crossed him on several important issues, including the question of whether or not to cooperate with Russia on Syria, and he was taking his soon-to-be-freed petty side out for an early test drive. But he wasn’t wrong to identify that Washington bureaucrats were more wedded to the militarization playbook than the public interest.
Six years later, even the NatSec dingbat brigade knows the public won’t buy the idea of risking nuclear war over Ukraine, which is why they’re pulling out stops to Twitterize the situation by introducing piles of other arguments and hypotheticals, like that the mad dictator won’t stop in Kyiv. “He wants to evict the United States from Europe,” said former intelligence officer, Brookings fellow, and ubiquitous Russiagate character Fiona Hill just wrote in the New York Times. This is absurd, but we will surely go through the process now of being told this is Hitler all over again, that Biden must be more Churchill than Chamberlain, etc. Headlines about $200 million in arms sales to Ukraine will turn to $500 million, a billion, etc., and other regional allies will be hit up with fresh sales calls.
Normally it’d be clear how this story ends, but Biden’s “gaffe” raised real concern that the war party will overcompensate with a catastrophic macho gesture (news that Biden is now “weighing” the deployment of more troops and warships to the region should fill all with confidence, for instance). There are people in Washington who think a pipeline of Javelin missile sales is worth having to watch for Russian subs popping up in New York harbor, and they are the same people in charge of this very heavy decision on the horizon.
There are people who will read this and cry, “Where’s your outrage against Vladimir Putin? Why don’t you denounce him?” To which I say, fine, I denounce him. Then what? When you’re done wailing, you’re still faced with deciding whether or not to go to war with Russia, which is not a real choice, unless you’re an idiot or General Jack Ripper-insane. Unfortunately, the Nulands and Blinkens who’ll be making this call just may fit those descriptions.
The ostentatious incompetence of the foreign policy establishment, which America got to examine in technicolor during the War on Terror, was one of the first triggers for the revolt against “experts” that led to the election of Donald Trump. Once, these were drawling Republican golfers who got hot reading Francis Fukuyama, thought they could turn Baghdad into Geneva, and instead squandered trillions and hundreds of thousands of lives pushing Iraq back to the eighth century.
The more recent crew is made up of Extremely Online, Ivy-educated fantasists who rarely leave their embassies abroad and view life as an endless production of Sloaneor The Good Fight, soap operas about exclusive clubs of fashionably brainy pragmatists with the guts to color outside the lines and “get things done.” Lines like “Yats is our guy” make them tingly. This is perhaps the only subset of people on earth arrogant and dumb enough to think there’s a workable plan for pulling off a shooting war with Russia.
The truth is there’s nothing to be done at this point. We had our chance. Both Russia and Ukraine should have been economic and strategic allies. Instead, we repeatedly blew opportunities in both places by trying to flex more and more muscle in the region (including, ironically, via election meddling). Now there’s no winning move left. Conceding this means abandoning conventional wisdom, and the people we’re now relying on to see the light have shown little ability to do that.
In a situation with only two choices, bad and horrifyingly worse, God help us if the playbook wins again.
AARON RODGERS EATS HORSE PASTE
For purposes of full disclosure, I must say
I’m a Raiders fan - Vegas, Oakland, or L.A.
But I’ll be cheering for the 49ers on Sunday
To beat the Rams and go all the way in L.A.
Thank you San Francisco 49ers for the win
This past weekend eliminating Green Bay!
Aaron Rodgers is an angry country bumpkin
Who eats horse paste ‘cuz Joe Rogan said.
Let’s hope COVID doesn’t kill Rodgers dead,
Just like S.F. killed the Packers NFL season.
Green Bay’s sore loser QB is without reason.
Rodgers’ self-righteous, idiotic arrogance is
Just digging his own public relations grave.
Right-wing Rodgers will have a job next year,
While Colin Kaepernick is his banned peer?
State Farm should hire Kaepernick instead,
Since Aaron Rodgers is nearly brain dead!
Spreading disease is what pleases Aaron,
Because a vaccination needle scares him.
Rodgers should apologize to those at UC,
Because Aaron is a civic joke in Berkeley.
Thanks for losing to the 49ers, crazy dude!
Mr. Rodgers, it’s a beautiful day in the hood.
HELLHOUNDS PURSUE CRAIG
Spiritual Reality and the American Twilight Zone
Awoke this morning with the mind repeating the Mahamantram, which it does all of the time. 50 years of yogic practices performed in the environment of the "American experiment in freedom and democracy", and voila!, the Jivan Mukta condition is achieved. Understand that in order to write this, it is of necessity to reflect duality, since nonduality is the Divine Absolute or 4th dimension. I wish you to know that it is entirely possible to be established in the 4th dimension and carry out all actions in the 3rd dimension. This is the situation with avatars, such as Jesus Christ, Lord Sri Krishna, Shakya Muni Buddha, and the upcoming appearance of Kalki (Vishnu's final incarnation at the end of Kali yuga).
As I sit here biding time in Garberville, CA, the Earth First! video archive now digitized and stored in the cloud, I am flummoxed as to why nobody anywhere shows any interest in my showing up to do anything at all. At the same time, I have been receiving messages suggesting that I need to contact social services to receive emergency help, that I am at risk and could die, or could be arrested as an indigent and taken to a mental institution, or perhaps murdered.
My response to this paranoiac nonsense, is to suggest that my doomsayers consider a reality check. After all, I am not the one believing the psycho news, broadcast constantly on American TV. I will always know that it is spectacle, sucking in the ignorant.
Please contact me. I need to leave sunny Garberville, CA and do something more on the earth plane. Thank you very much.
Craig Louis Stehr