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DRY AND SUNNY is expected today across the area once any lingering coastal and valley clouds clear. Inland highs will be in the 70s. Monday a dry cold front will bring cooler temperatures and cloudy skies. A few light showers are possible behind the front Monday night and Tuesday. Cooler temperatures and a mix of sun and clouds will continue through the week. There is a chance for light rain Thursday.
BEACH HAZARDS STATEMENT REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
WHAT...Large unexpected waves along the coast.
WHERE...Coastal Del Norte, Mendocino Coast, Northern Humboldt Coast and Southwestern Humboldt Counties.
WHEN...Through this evening.
IMPACTS...Large, unexpected waves can sweep across the beach without warning, sweeping people into the sea from rocks, jetties, and beaches. These waves can also move large objects such as logs, crushing anyone caught underneath.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...Don`t be fooled by an ocean that looks calm. There can be 30 minutes of small waves before a sneaker wave strikes. Avoid rocks and jetties. Avoid steep beaches. Stay much farther back from the water and never turn your back on the ocean.
(National Weather Service)
CORRECTION: JUST IN
Dear Mr. Anderson,
At our last meeting on April 6, The Coast Democratic Club vote on the School Superintendent race was to not endorse either candidate. It is my understanding that in your Editorial Notes this morning you indicated that the Club had endorsed Nicole Glentzer, but this is not correct. You may wish to modify your information.
Lee Finney, Vice Chair, Coast Democratic Club
ED NOTE: Apologies for the error.
NOYO CONSORT will present two or three trio pieces, including a world premiere of a piece written especially for them, as well as duo sonatas by Ewazen and songs by Bernstein and Schwanter.
Tickets may be purchased at BrownPaperTickets.com, Out of this World in Mendocino, at Harvest Market in Fort Bragg or At-The-Door.
HOPE SPRINGS ANEW FOR THE VENERABLE PALACE HOTEL
by Mike Geniella
Minal Shankar, a recognized leader among a new generation of online investment bankers and venture capitalists, may be the last best hope for the decaying Palace Hotel, a Mendocino County landmark with a storied history.
Shankar, a newcomer to the Ukiah Valley, is the unexpected buyer of the Palace who entered into escrow last week for its purchase. The historic 1891 hotel is in poor condition, ravaged by years of neglect, but Shankar sees promise.
Shankar believes her expertise in securing federal and state tax credits for historic preservation could make the difference in the Palace’s fate.
“I am optimistic. I believe the Palace even in its current state can be transformed into a viable commercial business center,” said Shankar.
Who is Shankar?
She is an engaging 30-something success story in the online banking world, a global citizen born in India, educated in the U.S., and introduced into the world of money management by her financier father. On her own, Shankar has enjoyed enough success to leave behind big city lights for a quieter life working remotely from an area she sees as “the real Northern California.”
Shankar found her dream home in September 2020 overlooking Lake Mendocino after a random search across Northern California. By then, she already had made her professional mark in online banking services in Canada, and as a financial analyst for firms in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
In 2021 Shankar was honored by the Canadian Lenders Association for being a woman “Leader in Lending” for her role in founding and becoming CEO of Easly, a Toronto-based firm that in a few short years secured $77 million in funding for startups.
Shankar is a graduate of Harvey Mudd College at Claremont, one of the nation’s premier engineering, science and mathematics universities, and the prestigious Stern School of Business at New York University.
It was by chance that Shankar ended up living in Mendocino County in September 2020. She had returned to the SF Bay area where her parents lived as the Covid shutdown engulfed the world. “The pandemic allowed me to realize I could work remotely and live in a small-town environment that I felt would better suit me,” she recalled.
It has not been without its challenges. A year after moving into Marina Estates north of Ukiah, the ‘Hopkins Fire’ was started along the Russian River by an arsonist in September 2021 and swept uphill to Marina Estates. A dozen homes were destroyed or damaged. Shankar has just started a vacation in Europe when she learned her house was fire damaged but was still standing. All the outbuildings including a guest house were burned to the ground, however.
“I was in shock, and immediately returned home. In the immediate days after so many people including my neighbors Bruce Jenney and his wife helped me get through it,” recalled Shankar. The Jenneys’ home was destroyed in the fire, and they have since moved to Texas.
For Shankar, the community solidarity she found in her personal crisis was a turning point. “I knew I needed to live and work here, and I chose to stay.”
Shankar says it was on a random drive through her new community that she noticed the decrepit Palace Hotel and a big ‘for sale’ sign posted on its front facing North State Street.
Sometimes it takes a newcomer to see old problems with fresh eyes, and Shankar felt confident from the start she was onto something.
“I started to make inquiries, and I kept getting more interested as I learned more and poured over available documents,” said Shankar.
“It became clear to me that after some due diligence and team planning, I could make a viable project of the Palace with the help of historic preservation-related tax credit financing.”
The current owners, Twin Investments, LLC, bought the property in January 2019 while it was still under the control of court appointed receiver Mark Adams. Adams, a Santa Monica attorney, was appointed to take control of the building by the Mendocino County Superior Court in 2016 after the city officially declared it a public nuisance because of health and safety code violations.
Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman on April 6 approved a settlement that mandates the court appointed receivership remain in place until escrow with Shankar closes successfully. The agreement was reached among Adams, the current note holders, and the city of Ukiah. If the Shankar deal is not completed, the Palace’s will remain in limbo.
Yes, Shankar says she sees the long list of negatives that have mired the historic hotel in uncertainty for three decades. In reality the 66,000-square-foot, 90-room hotel is actually three structures constructed at different times. The original brick portion was built first on the corner of North State and Smith streets.
“After spending a year researching the Palace, I see the problems clearly. I know the building, especially the oldest section, is on the edge structurally. No doubt it could be expensive to transform the Palace into something viable,” said Shankar.
Yet, Shankar declares, ‘a Palace project is possible.”
Shankar signed the purchase agreement last week for the Palace and entered into a nine-month escrow because “I think I can make something happen.”
Shankar acknowledges the oldest part of the downtown Ukiah landmark is one step away from being too far gone structurally. “If action isn’t taken, I don’t how much longer it can stand,” she said.
Shankar said it seems that “essentially we will need to build a box inside the walls.”
In addition, the old hotel’s interior is largely stripped of anything with value, short of a few notable exceptions including the lobby fireplace, a backbar, and a decorative staircase support leading upstairs.
A large skylight covers a central area that Shankar hopes to turn into a sunny marketplace, but a protective cover needs to be replaced immediately. “I don’t know if the area can get through one more rainy season exposed to the elements,’’ said Shankar.
Because there remains a host of uncertainties Shankar said a long escrow is needed. “It will allow for a myriad of issues to be resolved, and team planning to be done on how the Palace can be transformed into an exciting downtown draw.”
Part of Shankar’s early efforts are documenting the historical influences of the Palace on the community. She is working with the Mendocino County Historical Society, which has a treasure trove of information about the long history of the hotel.
Shankar in short exudes confidence about the Palace’s prospects with the air of a convinced lender rather than a developer.
“I have the time, and the energy. I am encouraged by the support I am receiving from Ukiah city officials, and residents and businesses who believe repurposing the Palace is critical to the future of the core downtown.”
Shankar sees Ukiah as poised to draw more visitors and becoming the inland anchor of a county-wide tourism sector that has transformed the remote Mendocino Coast into a world-class visitor destination.
“Ukiah is only a two-hour drive from the Bay Area. It is in wine country, but the town still has its own character. There is a freshness to the area that appeals to visitors,” said Shankar.
Shankar said she is not discouraged by local naysayers who think the possibility of a Palace revival is folly. She brushes off reactions to online posts with barbs about her unexpected emergence as a buyer.
“I understand the reasons why,” said Shankar. For decades local residents witnessed the Palace, after a brief revival in the 1980s, slide into becoming a community eyesore. It has sat abandoned and largely unprotected since 1995 under out-of-town ownership.
Shankar said she chooses to focus on the possibilities, however, rather than become bogged down in the murk of past Palace problems.
Shankar shared a photograph on Instagram of a glass of champagne she placed on the beat-up old lobby bar after signing the purchase agreement and going into escrow. “It just seemed right,” said Shankar.
That does not mean she is starry eyed about what lies ahead.
“I am not a person to act on sentiment. I do my homework.”
Shankar said she feels the Palace can be turned into an economically profitable development.
“I would not be devoting my time and expertise to this without that belief,” said Shankar.
UKIAH SHELTER PET OF THE WEEK
We found Otis to be sweet and engaging during his evaluation. He didn't play with toys—he just wanted to hang out with us and check out the room. Although he seems to like being outside, Otis has good indoor manners and definitely enjoys couch time. Mr. Otis is 2 years old and 49 pounds. This guy is neutered, and ready to bound outta the shelter and into your life. If you can’t adopt right now, think about fostering. Our website has information about our Foster Program. And don’t forget our on-going Spring Dog And Cat Adoption Events at the Ukiah and Ft. Bragg Shelters!
While you’re at our website, check out all of guests, services, programs, events, and updates. Visit us on Facebook. For information about adoptions, please call 707-467-6453.
SUPERINTENDENT SIMSON TAKES ON MORE AND MORE
AVUSD Weekly Parent/Guardian update
Dear Anderson Valley Community,
I hope this message finds you well. It was great to get the additional rain this week and the students and staff were flexible regarding break and recess times, which we appreciate. We have many things going on in the District relating to future plans. I thought I would take a moment to update you.
Measure M Bond Committee Meeting High School Library: May 3 4:30
Elementary Open House: May 4
High School Site Council: May 4, 4:00 p.m.
ELAC at AVES: May 5, 5:00 p.m.
High School Bond Walk: May 12, 4:30 p.m.
Elementary Bond Walk Through: May 19, 4:30 p.m.
The Measure M committee has attached a fact sheet for your review. A translated copy will be available shortly. If you are interested in participating in the bond meeting, the committee invites you to the next one scheduled for May 3rd at 4:30 p.m. at the high school library. The election is on June 7. The flier details the many areas where the money could potentially be spent. There is much to do at all the sites, but the flier is a comprehensive Fact Sheet. There will be walkthroughs for the sites on May 12 at the Jr./Sr. High School at 4:30 p.m. and May 19 at the Elementary School at 4:30 p.m. Please join us!
High School WASC Accreditation
High schools are required to be accredited. This process is a comprehensive overview of current performance beyond an analysis of areas of strength and challenge and is a tool for creating a pathway moving forward. An outside organization, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, will be sending a team to evaluate the programs. In preparation for the visit, the school site teams, including staff, students and parents, work diligently to analyze current systems and structures to report out to the visiting team and also to craft the plan moving forward. This is an arduous process and time-consuming. Julie Honegger at the Jr./Sr. High School has taken charge of this for several years and we appreciate her review of the data and coordination of the site teams to craft a meaningful document that does create solutions-based opportunities moving forward. We do need parents to participate in this process, so if you are interested, please reach out to Julie at email@example.com.
High School Staffing Next Year
I shared previously the news that Jim Snyder has accepted a position with Ukiah Unified for next year. We are grateful to him for his dedication and amazing relationships that he built with students and staff and wish him all the best in his new opportunity.
As we reviewed the needs of the sites, the budget for the district, and projected declining enrollment which will have a $440,000 impact in the next two out years, we have realigned the district duties in the following way:
District Office personnel will fully relocate to the high school.
I will handle the dual responsibilities of Superintendent/Principal
Vero Barragan will add the role of Disciple Officer to her Board Secretary position.
A part-time Vice Principal will staff the high school as well. It is expected this position will be interviewed in May and a candidate will be appointed in the May board meeting.
We also have some exciting news related to a partnership with Mendocino College, where we are expecting to take a bus of students over every Wednesday to participate in a college level auto mechanics class. Moving forward one of the goals of the district is to bring back more experiential learning to our high school population and allow them the opportunity to experience education, arts and culture, and Historic sites outside of the Boonville area.
Curriculum Reviews Underway
The District has one time money to fund the new curriculum. Teams at the elementary school are reviewing potential Language Arts materials and the high school is focusing on math and science reviews to trial new materials in the Fall.
We are through the DSA process for the high school HVAC project and the gym heaters. We are awaiting sealed bids for the HVAC items to see where we are budget-wise, and the gym heater contract has been awarded and the units are on order. We are hopeful to have those gym units installed by early fall. The HVAC project time-line will be announced once we identify a contractor. Supply chain issues have delayed manufacture and shipments.
A comprehensive septic study is underway for our ancient elementary school system. This will give us an analysis of the current functioning (or not functioning!) state of the system and provide a design for replacement as required, so when funding is identified, we can move forward. It is unacceptable for an elementary school to have sewage flow on a playground. We need to fix it and it will be expensive.
The libraries at both sites are under-going some refreshing. We are excited about the change, and it was great to see the high school students pitch in with table assembly and cleaning.
I want to take a moment to thank our coaches for all of our sporting teams and our Athletic Director Arthur Folz. It has been great to see the kids out and enjoying themselves in competition.
Louise Simson, Superintendent, AV Unified School District, Cell: 707-684-1017
QUEENIE'S REOPENING: Egg-ceptional news. Queenie's Roadhouse Cafe in Elk is opening Saturday April 30th. We will be open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday 9am till 3pm. Breakfast served all day. 707 877 3285
CANDIDATE FORUMS presented by League of Women Voters of Mendocino County
The League of Women Voters of Mendocino County will present two candidate forums, on Wednesday, May 4, and Friday, May 6. Each forum will be moderated by a League member, and will take place via Zoom, from 6-7:30pm. Find the link for both on the League website: https://my.lwv.org/california/mendocino-county. Look under the Calendar tab.
On Wednesday, May 4, candidates for Fifth District Supervisor will appear to present their platforms and answer questions from the audience. Both Ted Williams, incumbent, and John Redding, challenger, have agreed to participate.
On Friday, May 6, candidates for County School Superintendent will participate; both Michelle Hutchins, incumbent, and Nicole Glentzer, challenger, will present their ideas and take questions.
For more information, call 707-937-4952.
A READER WRITES: Friends in Windsor sent me a picture of a small cactus which I gave them about five years ago. Here it is with its beautiful but short-lived flower.
FORT BRAGG’S DIMINISHING CORE SERVICES
Over the past 30+ years...since I moved to Fort Bragg in 1986. I've loved this town and all that it represented (past tense).
However, as of late, what seems like almost overnight, Fort Bragg has become a town in crisis!
All the institutions that we came to depend on and respect are for all intents and purposes GONE! I raised my son here in great schools, acquired my AA at the local JC, received caring and supportive medical/emergency services for my rescues, was on the receiving end of dedicated and devoted medical health professionals and more.
But, these and too many other institutions that I've come to depend on are no longer available to the residents of this community.
The Junior College is a ghost town, the hospital struggles to entice doctors to the Coast. Emergency and even regular veterinary care services are all but non-existent! We are forced to seek services elsewhere, off the Coast, and for those with limited resources, they do without.
Fort Bragg City Council members, I ask you: What is it, exactly, that you are doing to address the absence of essential, core services of this community, services you were elected to provide?
What exactly have or are you currently doing/planning to address the absence of the most basic needs of this community?
What are you doing or plan to do to put an end to the ever-diminishing services that once were available to this community?
It's a long time since 1986, but I would ask you, Council members, are we, here on the Coast, here in Fort Bragg, better off now, than we were 10 years ago? 20 years ago?
That answer is abundantly clear: NO! Not even close!
And now, you talk about dissolving the Mendocino Coast Health Care District? Why? Because you've already accomplished so much in providing for the needs of this community? My guess? Pure arrogance? Another agenda? Your inbox is overflowing. Start doing what you were elected to do!
A JOINT OPERATION: Mendocino Marijuana Farmers Band Together To Fight For Profits
by Randy Diamond
Some marijuana farmers are fighting back after a crash in wholesale cannabis prices has left them struggling for their financial survival.
Reeling from record-low prices for their crops, 20 farmers in Mendocino County — with help from a Sacramento delivery agent — have banded together in a cooperative effort to sell cannabis to consumers in Sacramento and Butte counties.
The lure is profits, keeping a larger share of the money that would normally go to marijuana dispensaries and delivery services.
Farmer Blaire AuClair hopes the direct program will help nurse her farm back to profitability.
"It's definitely been one of the most challenging periods," she said of the last year.
She and her husband, Daniel, whose family farm is in the tiny community of Covelo, say that the $250 to $300 a pound they receive selling their cannabis to distributors isn't enough to make a profit.
A little more than a year ago they were receiving more than $1,000 a pound on average.
Why prices have fallen
An oversupply of marijuana came at the same time many people saw drops in income with the end of stimulus checks and extended unemployment, say industry observers.
Legal marijuana sales in California last week hit their lowest level since the legalization of cannabis in 2018. The industry observers say the oversupply of cannabis shows no signs of abating.
The AuClairs and the owners of 19 other farms have set up a website called Mendocino Cannabis Shop, promoting their cannabis farms' organic marijuana products and themselves.
The group has also erected a billboard at 16th and T streets in downtown Sacramento promoting "marijuana with a conscience."
However, under California's state regulatory system for cannabis, farmers can't sell marijuana directly to consumers like produce farmers.
Marijuana sales are allowed only by dispensaries and delivery services, which act in effect as retail operations.
Sacramento delivery service steps up
So, the farmers are using a delivery service to actually distribute the marijuana. The Sacramento-based service, Sovereign, instead of keeping its normal markup, which can be hundreds of dollars on a pound of marijuana, is returning most of it to the farmers.
It charges the farmers a small 10 percent administrative fee off the final retail price consumers pay for the cannabis.
Sovereign owner Brandy Moulton is a Mendocino County farmer herself and also runs a dispensary in Fort Bragg. She said the farmers are her neighbors and she wants to help them prosper again.
"The farmers are facing an existential threat to their livelihood," she said.
The producers who use Moulton's service say they can make triple or more on weed sold through the delivery service.
A small but optimistic start
But the Mendocino direct operation is still in its initial phase, having launched three months ago. So far around $10,000 in sales have been made combined by all the farmers, Moulton said.
One farmer in the program, Chiah Rodriques, has seen around $2,000 of that money.
"It puts the power back in the hands of the farmers," said Rodriques of the program.
She said she kept most of the $2,000 minus the administrative fee, three times what she would have made without Moulton's service.
Blaire AuClair is optimistic about the program and hopes to sell more marijuana through it.
AuClair said she still plans to grow 500 pounds of marijuana this year, the same amount as in 2021, because reducing output would not give her enough volume to have any chances at a more profitable future.
While the $800 in sales she's made in the first months of the Mendocino Shop Program isn't a fortune, AuClair believes it's a start.
She's betting that she can sell more of the higher profit marijuana to Sacramento County and Butte County residents.
AuClair has farmed cannabis for five years, her husband for eight. She said they take pride in producing small batch marijuana and don't want to stop.
To cut costs, she has turned from local workers to her parents who are working the farm.
"My folks are helping us right now stay afloat," she said. "So we're still sticking with it for another year and trying to make it right."
The Mendocino Cannabis Alliance, the umbrella organization coordinating the farmers' efforts to get more profit for their marijuana, is also talking to other dispensaries and delivery services in other parts of California.
"There are other like-minded people who want more of a return going to cannabis producers," said Michael Katz, executive director of the group.
KIRK VODOPALS, NAVARRO: RE: WEED TAXING AND SUCH…
I spent the week in Santa Cruz at the 39th Annual Salmonid Restoration Federation conference. Lots of good discussion about salmon restoration and California drought conditions. I ran into one of the most die-hard restoration proponents on the North Coast: Mr. Richard Gienger. Richard has been living in the Mattole region for over 40 years and has consistently been advocating for salmon restoration and changes to timber harvest practices. I asked him how he felt about how the marijuana industry is going through such an existential change. He said, “I’m so sick of the word cannabis.” I said I couldn’t agree more with him.
MENDOCINO FILM FESTIVAL TICKETS ON SALE FOR MEMBERS
Mendocino Film Festival June 2-5 Tickets on Sale for Members!
Join now if you haven't already.
Angela Matano, Executive Director, Mendocino Film Festival, Office: 707.937.0171, Cell: 310.883.5107
“OH YEAH,” my 9-year-old granddaughter said. “I'm definitely a Potterhead.” Potterhead? Harry Potter. She and her friends have read them all, and Potterheads is what they call themselves.
I'VE EATEN CHINESE FOOD in Sibu, Kuching, Mukah, Bintulu, Singapore, Hong Kong, and San Francisco, and I'm here to tell you that Annie's Bistro, South State Street, Ukiah, is as good as any offered in any of these places for under ten bucks per entree.
SINGAPORE! Fascinating place in '64, not very interesting today if your idea of interesting is Geneva. Just before Lee Kwan Yew took over the town and banned chewing gum and began flogging people for spitting in public as the city became “the Switzerland of the East,” I was confined to my dumpy hotel room (also under ten bucks) because outside in the streets “communal violence” was underway, a vague euphemism for Chinese and Malays going at each other with machetes. Lee was a remarkable man, brilliant and ruthless and a socialist, and in no time at all he and his one-party state had converted Singapore from a wide open city to an ethnically harmonious town via a wide variety of sensible, socialist-inspired social programs that relaxed tensions among its diverse peoples.
MY LATE FRIEND, White Man Frank, a retired merchant seaman, owned a cabin up in Deer Meadow Estates where he regaled visitors with the ethnic theories he'd developed as a Frisco slum landlord — “Now yer Nicaraguan is a lot neater than yer Mexican…” etc. White Man was positively giddy at the extremely remote prospect that an American Lee Kwan Yew would soon be running San Francisco. “When the Chinese take over, the bullshit will end!” he'd shout, bringing his right arm dramatically down in a guillotine chop.
HIS IDEA of civic bullshit seemed to embrace any and all disorder, from a single newspaper blowing down a windy street to homeless camps. Funny thing about him was although he said he was a Marxist, White Man became quite annoyed with me when I pointed out that his city management theories sounded much more like fascism than socialism. “I've forgotten more about this stuff than you'll ever know, Mr. Editor,” he'd thundered, and the very next day he drove up with a box of books he banged down on our counter with a triumphant, “I don't just shoot my mouth off, I do my research!”
YOUTH IN DEFENSE OF THE EARTH
Mendocino County Youth for Climate (MCYC) co-founders, Sara Rose (16) and Ravel Gauthier (12) will be attending the three-day Earth X 2022 youth climate summit in Dallas Texas from April 21st to 23rd.
The Mendocino County Youth for Climate is a local group of youth activists speaking out against the climate crisis. The MCYC is a student-led environmental education space, where young people can learn together, create empowering connections, and take concrete climate action. Currently, they are working with the Coalition to Save Jackson Demonstration State Forest to prevent devastating logging that would contribute to the local and global climate crisis.
The MCYC co-founders have been invited to EarthX2022, a youth climate summit that brings together student activists from around the globe to meet, spread the word about the issues they are working on, and collaborate on solutions. The three-day EarthX event will convene top youth climate leaders from around the world with the explicit purpose of amplifying their impact. By bringing together leaders who advocate for ambitious climate action within the United Nations system and those leaders who advocate for transformative change with public demonstrations and grassroots organizing, it hopes to bridge two critical elements of the international youth climate movement.
Both Ravel and Sara will be speaking at the conference, with the intent of raising awareness for the injustice in JDSF and gathering support to stop the logging there. You can hear previous speeches given by the Co Founders on their youtube channel the_mcyc.
The MCYC is raising money to pay for the travel & lodging expenses. You can donate through Paypal using this link - https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=XNQSFP7UHV5HQ
[MCYC is an official program of Overstand, a 501c3 focused on nurturing environmental movements and bridging the gaps between on the ground activism and technological tools. All donations for “MCYC” will go directly to MCYC. All donations made to Overstand and its programs are tax deductible. Overstand’s EIN is 87-4204822]
You can follow the MCYC on instagram, twitter, youtube and tiktok @the_mcyc
UKRAINE, DAY 60
Russia-Ukraine war: what we know on day 60 of the Russian invasion
Volodymyr Zelenskiy to meet US secretary of state Antony Blinken in Kyiv on Sunday as Russia continues attacks on southern and eastern Ukraine
The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, and defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, will travel to Kyiv to meet the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, on Sunday. It will be the first high-level US trip to the city since the war began on 24 February.
Zelenskiy, at a press conference on Saturday held in an underground metro station, said Ukraine will ask the US for more heavy weapons to defeat Russia. “As soon as we have [more weapons], as soon as there are enough of them, believe me, we will immediately retake this or that territory, which is temporarily occupied,” Zelenskiy said.
Ukraine’s president also spoke at length about possible peace negotiations with Russia, saying if Moscow kills any Mariupol defenders – or goes forward with the independence referendum in the partly occupied southern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia – Ukraine will suspend peace negotiations with Moscow.
In attacks on the eve of Orthodox Easter, Russian forces pounded cities and towns in southern and eastern Ukraine. A three-month-old baby was among eight people killed when Russia fired cruise missiles at the Black Sea port city of Odesa, officials said. Eighteen more were wounded.
Separate strikes in Girske, a village in the eastern Lugansk region, killed six civilians, the region’s governor, Sergiy Gayday, said.
Two Russian generals were killed near Kherson, the Ukrainian ministry of defence said in a statement. Another is in critical condition. The Ukrainian military on Friday hit the command post of Russia’s 49th army near the occupied regional capital, the ministry said.
The fate of the Ukrainians in the sprawling and besieged steel mill in Mariupol wasn’t immediately clear. Earlier Saturday, a Ukrainian military unit released a video reportedly taken two days earlier in which women and children holed up underground, some for as long as two months, said they longed to see the sun.
Another attempt to evacuate women, children and older adults from Mariupol failed on Saturday. Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to Mariupol’s mayor, said Russian forces did not allow Ukrainian-organised buses to take residents to Zaporizhzhia, a city 227km (141 miles) to the north-west.
The US-based Institute for the Study of War has released its latest analysis, warning that Russian forces will likely increase the scale of ground offensive operations in the coming days. It predicts that Russia will likely continue attacking south-east from Izyum, west from Kreminna and Popasna, and north from Donetsk via Avdiivka or another axis. Russian forces will attempt to starve out the remaining defenders of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol and will not allow trapped civilians to evacuate, it adds.
Satellite images released this week showed what appeared to be two recently excavated mass grave sites next to cemeteries in two towns near Mariupol, and local officials accused Russia of burying thousands of civilians to conceal the slaughter taking place there. The Kremlin has not commented on the images.
Russia said it took control of several villages elsewhere in the eastern Donbas region and destroyed 11 Ukrainian military targets on Saturday, including three artillery warehouses. Russian attacks also struck populated areas.
The UK Ministry of Defence released an intelligence update detailing accusations that Russia is planning to conscript Ukrainian civilians in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.
Nearly 5.2 million people have fled Ukraine due to the war. The number of Ukrainians leaving the country since Russia’s invasion is now 5,163,686, the UN refugee agency says.
A third of Russian gas exported to the European Union could be affected because of the war, says the head of Ukraine’s state gas company Naftogaz.
(Reuters, AP, Agence-France Presse)
PLATE READER NABS TRUCK THIEF
On 04/13/2022 at about 12:51 PM, UPD Officers responded to the area of S. Orchard Ave and E. Perkins St. in an attempt to locate a Ford F-150 that had been reported stolen earlier that morning to Ukiah CHP. One of UPD’s recently installed Automatic License Plate Reader (ALPR) cameras had sent an alert to Officers advising the stolen vehicle had been observed minutes earlier being driven in the area.
During the search, UPD Detectives located the vehicle parked and occupied in the parking lot of the Orchard Shopping Center. Additional Officers arrived and a high-risk stop was performed. Three suspects were located in the vehicle and detained.
A search of the vehicle and suspects yielded large amounts of methamphetamine, consistent with possession for sale, as well as a small amount of oxycodone tablets. One of the suspects, Shane Miller was in possession of a fixed blade knife concealed on his person.
Through investigation it was determined that Shane Miller picked up the other two occupants in the stolen vehicle earlier that morning. Miller was found to be in possession of approximately 1.6 ounces of methamphetamine in addition to the concealed knife and oxycodone tablets. Emily Christopher was found to have a misdemeanor warrant for her arrest and was in possession of approximately 1.8 ounces of methamphetamine. Scott Stone was in possession of a smaller amount of methamphetamine that he claimed to be for personal use that he had been provided earlier by Miller.
Miller and Christopher were booked at the Mendocino County Jail on their respective charges. Stone was issued a citation at the scene for possession of methamphetamine.
The owner of the stolen vehicle responded to the scene and took possession of his vehicle.
(Ukiah Police Presser)
LONG-TERM ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP
On Wednesday, April 20, 2022 at 10:39 AM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a possible domestic violence incident, which had occurred on Tabor Lane in Covelo.
Deputies were advised the involved adult female was at a location on Highway 162. Deputies contacted the adult female and later contacted the involved adult male, Lee Joaquin, 32, of Covelo, on Tabor Lane.
During the investigation Deputies learned the adult female and Joaquin had been in a long term romantic relationship but had recently separated. During a child exchange, Joaquin got upset and began hitting the adult female numerous times with his hands and also kicked her in the ribs causing visible injuries.
Joaquin was found to be on formal probation with a term to obey all laws and Deputies observed an injury to his right knuckle.
Joaquin was arrested for domestic violence battery and violation of probation.
Joaquin was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a No Bail status due to the probation violation.
FROG MARCH HIM OUT TO THE BLUFFS AND SHOVE HIM OVER THE SIDE
On Thursday, April 21, 2022 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was made aware of an allegation of oral copulation of a child who was reported to be (10) ten years-old.
Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a residence in the 30000 block of Simpson Lane (Fort Bragg) and met with Steven Hyrum Helm, 75, of Fort Bragg and a witness to the incident.
Based on the disclosure provided by the witness, Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Detectives were contacted and responded to further investigate the allegation.
On Friday, April 22, 2022, following multiple interviews, probable cause was established which identified Helm as the person responsible for the alleged abuse. Helm was believed to have continuous access to the child who was known to him.
At about 3:20 AM, Helm was placed under arrest and transported to the Mendocino County Jail. Helm was arrested for Oral copulation of a child under 10 years-old and Continuous sexual abuse of child under 14 years-old.
Helm was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $200,000 bail.
Anyone with information related to Steven Hyrum Helm or this investigation is asked to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office at 707-463-4086 or the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Tip-line at 707-234-2100.
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 23, 2022
JOSEPH ANGENETE, Mendocino. Controlled substance for sale, DUI, pot sales.
JEREMIAS DIAZ, San Rafael/Ukiah. DUI, no license.
ALREDO GOMEZ-SALAS, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
STEVEN HELM, Fort Bragg. Oral copulation-victim under ten years old, engaging in three or more acts of substantial sexual conduct with child under age 14 for not less than three months.
THOMAS HIDALGO, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
MICHELE JENSEN, Willits. Domestic battery.
JAKUB KOMOSZKA, San Jose/Fort Bragg. Domstic abuse & battery, vandalism.
SALLY MARTSON, Upper Lake/Ukiah. DUI.
MICHAEL MCBRIDE, Willits. Failure to appear.
JAMES JOYCE’S JEWISH-IRISH EPIC AT 100
by Jonah Raskin
Nora Barnacle burned most of the letters she received in 1909 from her lover who signed his name, “Jim.” But she didn’t destroy all of them. Indeed, they have survived all these years. In one of them, Jim, aka James Joyce, wrote to his muse whom he called his “little fuckbird,” “Fuck me, darling, in as many ways as your lust will suggest.” He went on and on: ”Fuck me dressed in your full outdoor costume with your hat and veil on, your face flushed with the cold and wind and rain and your boots muddy.”
Prudes and dowdy literary scholars are still shocked by the language of the poet and novelist who rebelled against Catholicism and Ireland. Like Stephen Dedalus the hero of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, he vowed he would “not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it calls itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use — silence, exile, and cunning.” A sexist and more than a bit mad, he nevertheless blazed a trail others still follow.
This year, 2022, hoary censorship of the sort Joyce battled, is back as big and as nasty as ever before. According to PEN America, more than 1,000 books have recently been removed from shelves in school libraries and from classrooms. The latest wave of book banning has prompted rebukes from Congressman Jamie Raskin and California Governor Gavin Newsom.
Over the last century, censorship has never really taken a vacation in the U.S. or around the world, though it has sometimes seemed as though the last nail was hammered into its coffin. Moral crusaders and foes of modern literature tried long ago to abort James Joyce’s epic novel Ulysses, which was written from 1914 to 1921, while the author was in exile in Trieste, Zurich and Paris. Not a word was written in Ireland, where the author was born in 1882, the same year that Virginia Woolf arrived in the world.
Like a great many members of my generation, I read Ulysses when I was a teenager. As soon as I was able, I went to Paris, roamed the streets, lived on bread, wine and literary dreams, and, before I returned to the States, bought a copy of Henry Miller’s censored novel, Tropic of Cancer and smuggled it past customs officials in New York. It was the thing to do.
What did the censors have against Ulysses? What prompted them to confiscate copies of the book, burn them, and fine those who published excerpts in magazines such as the Little Review edited by Margaret Anderson. Sex, they insisted, was the culprit, and pointed to the chapter titled “Nausicca” in which Mr. Leopold Bloom masturbates in public while a young, seductive woman named Gerty on the cusp of menstruating, reveals to him parts of her anatomy.
Fireworks explode in the sky. On the ground below the pyrotechnics, Bloom has an orgasm. It’s pretty tame stuff by contemporary standards, though perhaps not in backwater towns and villages, even in Governor Newsom’s Golden State. Curiously, Newsom hasn’t touted Ulysses as a censored book. His list includes The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird and Nineteen-Eighty Four.
As the American lawyer, Edward de Grazi, showed in his masterful book, Girls Lean Back Everywhere: The Law of Obscenity and the Assault on Genius, self-righteous crusaders like Anthony Comstock and his followers, used pornography as a cudgel to crack down on works of literature, like Ulysses, and to prevent information about birth control and abortion from reaching the public. In the eyes of the crusaders, Bloom was simply a middle aged man with smut on his mind.
Evoking God and the Bible, Comstock & Company aimed to legislate and control what happened between couples, married or living in sin, whether behind closed doors and in bedrooms, or out in the open where spectators could witness characters such as Leopold and Gertie caught in a sexual act, though they didn’t rub their bodies against one another.
Bloom was a perfect protagonist to inflame the censors. A descendant of several generations of wandering Jews and a convert to Catholicism, he insists he’s a “respectable citizen.” He wanders about Dublin in ways that echo Homer’s The Odyssey. Still, unlike the heroic Ulysses, Bloom has an adulterous wife named Molly, and a grown daughter living away from home. The death of his son, Rudolph, aka Rudy, has left an emotional vacuum in his life. So, when he encounters Stephen Dedalus, a young Irish artist raised as a Catholic, he brings him to his house at 7 Eccles Street in Dublin, where Molly reclines in bed and indulges her licentious imagination.
In the climactic ending of the book, Molly exclaims, “I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.” She seems to have an orgasm, though Joyce, despite his own dalliance and his professed defiance of the church and its moral code, never says so explicitly. He hid his obscenities in plain sight.
Joyce explained that he meant Ulysses to be “an epic of two races (Israelite-Irish).” Always attentive to details, it seems significant that he hyphenated the two words ,“Israelite” and “Irish” and didn’t create space between them. Bloom tells Dedalus that he’s as “good an Irishman” as anyone else and insists that there’s “not a vestige of truth” in the accusation that Jews have been the ruination of Europe.
“History,” he adds, “proves to the hilt Spain decayed when the Inquisition hounded the Jews out and England prospered when Cromwell, an uncommonly able ruffian…imported them.” At times, he seems to be a walking talking advertisement for the Jews — especially when anti-Semites mock him as “old Methusalem’ [sic]. Readers come to appreciate him as a Jewish/Irish Everyman and not simply an advertising salesman for the newspaper, The Freeman, which employs him.
Joyce borrowed the name for his hero from a Jewish merchant named Leopold Popper. Every name and address in his book derived from something or someone real, factual. A stickler for accuracy, he went blind writing Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.
Joyce thought that at the core of his being he was a Jew and that his Jewish ancestry provided him with a kind of mystical elan. Anything and anyone but Catholic and especially someone persecuted by Catholics and the Catholic church. Joyce poured himself into Bloom, an exile in his own country, who thinks that “Holy Writ” is a “forgery” and who wants, when he’s utopian, a “union of all, Jews, Moslem and gentile” and for everyone to live by the Ten Commandments.
Joyce thought that the obscure references and allusions in his novel would make it a classic. He explained to Jacques Benoist-Mechin, who translated parts of the book into French, “I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of ensuring one’s immortality.” The enigmas and puzzles did keep the scholars busy, and lodged the book in the public eye, but it has been the humanity of Molly, Stephen and especially Bloom that has provided immortality.
In her short, brilliant Joycean biography of James Joyce, the Irish writer, Edna O’Brien, asks with her subject in mind, “Do writers have to be such monsters in order to create?” Her answer: “I believe they do.” She adds “while wrestling with language to capture the human condition they become more callous, and cut off from the very human traits which they so glisteningly depict.” That’s the James Joyce that she depicts convincingly, though she also offers a quotation from the Irish writer, Samuel Becket, who noted after Joyce’s death in 1941 in Switzerland that he was “a very lovable human being.” Joyce’s wife, Nora Barnacle, died the same year. O’Brien thinks she never read more than a few pages of Ulysses.
Given that Joyce was a monster, unkind and even mean to friends and family, as O’Brien convincingly shows, it’s not surprising that readers and fans of his books haven’t gone out of their way to honor his birth or his death. Rather they celebrate what’s known as “Bloomsday,” which occurs annually on June 16. Bloomsday was first celebrated in 1924, two years after Ulysses was initially published in Paris by Shakespeare & Company, owned by Sylvia Beach, a literary midwife to a work of genius that changed the course of modern literature.
The novel didn’t appear in print in the US until 1929, though some copies reached readers secretly after it was banned. The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice seized and destroyed most of the books that were initially printed in the US. In December 1933, in a landmark decision, US District Judge John M. Woolsey ruled that the novel was not obscene.
To legal experts, Woolsey’s ruling ended the obscenity laws, but that was not to be. In the 1950s, Allen Ginsberg’s Howl was censored as was William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch.
Perhaps this year, on the 100th anniversary of the publication of Ulysses, lawyers, judges, writers, editors, librarians and the “common reader,” as Virginia Wolf called her, will realize that censorship never really dies, as one might wish. James Joyce’s novel — which T. S. Eliot hailed in 1923 “as the most important expression which the present age had found” — reminds us of the persecution of geniuses and the battles that have been fought in and out of courtrooms to save works of art — Ulysses, Howl, Naked Lunch and D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover — from self-righteous crusaders and book burners who ought to be resisted now as ever before.
(Jonah Raskin is the author of Beat Blues, San Francisco, 1955.)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
“Mainly we hate the Russian president for doing what he said he would do, acting like a man, literally having to set boundaries for the unruly children, like Daddy used to do. America hates daddies.”
Well, if by that you mean that daddy is a psychopath with a god complex who beats up his kids and rapes them, then, yeah, most Americans hate those kinds of daddies. Most sane folks do. Daddy thinks he is the Redeemer of the Russian soul, protector of the Russian spirit and that he is answerable on this plane to no one but himself – and certainly not the rule of law! And he is ordained by GOD to do as he pleases and woe be he, she, they who disagree with him! And if he has to burn down his own and his neighbor’s house to impose his will, then his will be done.
Many find that kind of “daddy” and his behaviour admirable and that suggests that a lot of people have serious daddy issues.
THE DO NOTHING GANG
Inaction on gun violence…
Mass shootings and deaths are becoming commonplace news. Sometimes it’s not just one but two or three. When are our so-called politicians who have vowed to protect their constituents going to do something, anything, about this?
I have lost faith in these people who sit in Washington and Sacramento, earn an amazing salary, get free medical, etc. and, in my opinion, do nothing. Citizens continue to be shot, and the National Rifle Association rules. Not the elected officials.
Many of them have been in office for an eternity. Perhaps new blood, but it doesn’t seem to take newbies long to slip into the do-nothing attitude. So I guess we will continue to read about death by gun forever and pray it doesn’t happen near us or to us.
JOH’S LUCK RUNS OUT
by John Perry
Until 27 January, Juan Orlando Hernández was president of Honduras; he’s now on his way to a high-security prison in New York, awaiting trial. On the day JOH handed power to Xiomara Castro, charges were filed against him that would lead to an extradition request from the US embassy in Tegucigalpa. He was arrested on 15 February and lost his appeal to the country’s supreme court on 28 March. A Drug Enforcement Agency plane came to pick him up today.
JOH’s brother Tony, arrested in 2018, is serving a life sentence for bringing two hundred tons of cocaine into the US. JOH’s alleged role was to protect Tony’s trafficking and share the proceeds. According to the charge sheet he first received drug money in 2005; conspired four years later with then president ‘Pepe’ Lobo to receive a further $2 million in protection money; and in 2013 received another from ‘El Chapo’ Guzman for ‘election expenses’. Shortly after his brother’s conviction, an associate who was ready to testify about JOH’s involvement was murdered in an Honduran prison. Most of the potential witnesses are already in the US, however, collaborating with law officers.
But there is a parallel story in which not only was JOH’s criminal activity ignored by successive US administrations, but his presidency was celebrated, first by Obama and then by Trump. His rise to power began shortly after the military coup in 2009, when he became head of congress and then, in 2013, ran for president. Having promised to put a ‘soldier on every corner’, he received a large share of $1.2 billion offered by Washington to strengthen the region’s armed forces. The Obama-Biden administration chose to see him as an ally in the war on drugs and Biden twice met JOH to back his efforts.
The US justice department had been tracking JOH’s involvement in narco-trafficking for nearly a decade, but stayed its hand on the grounds that JOH was still head of state – though that didn’t stop them indicting Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro in 2020. Washington was content to let a neoliberal ally win a dubious election in 2013 and a completely fraudulent one in 2017. Days before his brother was found guilty, the US embassy tweeted its continued support for JOH. The Trump administration seemed untroubled by criminal behavior as long as JOH appeared to be stemming immigration. Senator Patrick Leahy now laments that through ‘eight years of decay, depravity and impunity, successive US administrations sullied our reputation by treating Hernandez as a friend and partner.’
By last November’s election, JOH’s luck had run out. His intended successor, the corrupt mayor of Tegucigalpa, lost to the left-leaning Xiomara Castro. Her husband, Mel Zelaya, was ousted in the 2009 coup and she first stood against JOH in 2013. With more than half the votes, her victory could not be denied and it took only two days for Washington to congratulate her. It then emerged that Biden had put JOH on the ‘Engel’ list of corrupt politicians as early as last July. His US visa was cancelled. By the time JOH posted pictures of himself playing with his dogs at one of his many homes, the embassy already had the extradition request.
Can Castro bring an end to the narco-state? She’s hindered by a divided congress and state bodies permeated by corruption, drug trafficking and organized crime. Half her budget is pre-empted by the debt JOH built up, and she inherits health and education systems broken by years of underinvestment, labor disputes and the pandemic. With poverty levels jumping from 59 to 73 per cent in only two years, she has promised no increase in ordinary people’s taxes, and new subsidies for fuel bills.
Biden knows she needs all the help she can get. His priorities for Latin America have shifted away from the drug trade and immigration, now that he wants to counteract the growing influence of China and Russia. He’s keen that ‘new’ left governments in Honduras and Chile (and possibly, after elections this year, Colombia and Brazil) don’t link up with the old left in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Biden sent Kamala Harris to Castro’s inauguration in January, and so far has dissuaded the new president from switching allegiance from Taiwan to China, another of her election promises. He can exploit divisions within her governing coalition, evident in the controversy last month when Honduras voted against a UN Human Rights Council resolution on Nicaragua. Biden is promising Castro help if she toes the US line, but already the progressive parts of her coalition are complaining about the number of visits her ministers are getting from his officials. She faces a complicated balancing act.
DISHONORING EARTH DAY
by Ralph Nader
Instead of championing solar, wind and conservation energy, the GOP (Greedy Old Party) is championing the skyrocketing profits and prices for the omnicidal fossil fuel and atomic power companies.
Surging gasoline prices at the pump are not met with excess profits taxes on profit-glutted Big Oil. Rather the GOP and the Democrats are suspending taxes on gasoline sales that are used to repair roads and bridges. An excess profits tax could be used to provide rebates to consumers who are being gouged at the pump.
The case for an excess profits tax is made in a new report, Big Oil’s Wartime Bonus: How Big Oil Turns Profits Into Wealth, April 5, 2022, by Bailout Watch, Public Citizen and Friends of the Earth. Profits (and stocks) of companies like ExxonMobil and Chevron zoomed so much that Big Oil, not wanting to moderate their wholesale prices, have spent $45 billion of your money to buy back their stocks this past year and increase the compensation of their bosses.
Unleashing their lobbying forces in Washington, Big Oil and Gas are demanding, the report relates, “faster approval for natural gas pipelines … and increased drilling on public lands and waters.” Biden is opening up more oil and gas leases on public lands even though he reported some 9000 leases already granted are still not being utilized by the oil and gas companies.
The Biden administration is spending $6 billion to shore up aging nuclear plants that safety advocates say should be mothballed.
Washington is silent on using taxes on fossil-fuel price profiteering for more wind, solar and the little mentioned energy conservation retrofits of buildings throughout the U.S. The energy savings and renewable approach would be faster, cleaner, produce more jobs and benefit more directly to Main and Elm Streets USA.
The becalmed Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission should swing into bold action under their anti-monopoly and consumer protection authorities.
It shouldn’t have taken Consumer Watchdog in California to sound the alarm on the price manipulation by the five big oil refiners that control 96 percent of the gasoline made in California, led by Chevron. Jamie Court, the dynamic president of Consumer Watchdog, declared: “with California taxes and environmental fees adding about 60 cents per gallon, Californians have long wondered where the extra $1.50 per gallon more they are paying than other US drivers (from 5 to 7 dollars per gallon) goes, and with this legislation (SB1322) we will finally know. California has been an ATM for oil refiners for too long. SB1322 requires California oil refiners to document monthly how much they pay for the average barrel of crude oil they process into gasoline and how much they charge for the barrel of finished gasoline. At 42 gallons per barrel, we will then know how much they are making per gallon of gasoline sold in California, and be able to take back the excessive profits.” That is, assuming the completely Democratic Party dominated California state legislature enacts this legislation.
If Democrats do not stand tall in going after gasoline price inflation and other price gouging, the GOP will succeed in putting the blame on the Dems in the November elections. Washington is decades late in cutting our addiction to fossil fuels that are causing the climate crises.
On the first Earth Day in April 1970, over 1500 demonstrations against air, water and pesticide pollution were held on college campuses around the country. With the onset of the omnicidal fossil-fuel-driven climate catastrophes, leading to even more virulent wildfires, hurricanes, droughts and floods, the college campuses are now too silent, the streets are too empty, and the Congress too somnolent.
Congress is on another vacation this week so citizens should be buttonholing their representatives back home and pressing them to take action to counter the fossil fuel industry’s greed and to move toward a clean energy future.
Except for the far too small number of authentic advocates pressing decision-makers in government and industry to “follow the science”, the country’s officials appear too resigned, too attentive to short-term campaign money and political myopia to be stewards of the people, the natural environment and the planet.
If these power brokers need any more evidence of the ominous threat to humanity and its tiny planet, they should read the latest assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which said humanity has a “brief and rapidly closing window” to head off a hotter, deadly future.” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned that the world is “sleepwalking to climate catastrophe” as the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and lack of political willpower undermine the necessity to cut greenhouse gas pollution by about half before 2030 and get rid of the carbon footprint by 2050.
It is not as if an abused Nature is not warning homo sapiens daily with unprecedented intensifications of its deadly outbursts and disruptions all around the world.
Once again, given the way our government is structured, it is the Congress – with just 535 members – which can become the rapid engine of energy transformation to the readily known renewable solutions. Solar panels are now seen on rooftops, and windmills on hillsides. Energy efficient technologies are affordable and abundant. Unfortunately, the GOP blocked the infrastructure proposals for clean energy proposed by Biden and the Democrats. Will the voters remember in November?
You know the Congressional switchboard number: 202-224-3121. Summon your representatives to your own town hall meetings and directly confront their desire for re-election in the fall. Tell them, for the sake of the world, their country and their state, it is time to shake off whatever invisible chains are around them and do what they and most of America knows has to be done. A clean energy future is better for the climate, the economy, the health and consumer pocketbooks of ALL THE PEOPLE, regardless of their self-described political labels.
When it comes to the ravaging climate disruptions, all people bleed the same color. Summon your Senators and Representatives directly to your community. (See my book, Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think, Pages 144-145).
WOKIES SUCK ALL THE LIFE OUT OF…
by Piers Morgan
Last summer, I was walking through Kensington in West London when an elegant-looking lady stopped me in the street. ‘Excuse me, Mr. Morgan,’ she began. ‘I’m an 80-year-old Australian woman, but don’t hold either of those things against me!’ Then she roared with laughter and said: ‘I just want to say you have my full support over that damn Markle debacle!’
Of course, she was alluding to my sudden dramatic exit from ITV’s Good Morning Britain a year ago for declining to believe Princess Pinocchio’s whoppers to Oprah Winfrey.
ITV told me to either apologize for my honestly held opinion (for the record, I still don’t believe a word she says) or leave my job, so I left. And a few days later, it emerged that the Duchess of Sussex had written personally to the network’s CEO, Dame Carolyn McCall, demanding my head on a plate for having the audacity to question her incendiary, fork-tongued claims – many of which have since been established as untrue.
The Aussie lady continued: ‘You’re allowed to have your opinion. People such as Meghan want to control what we’re allowed to say, and tell us how to lead our lives, but they never practice what they preach. They’re hypocrites.’
Then she said something which has stuck in my mind ever since: ‘The problem with all these wokies is they just want to suck all the joy out of life! Don’t let them get away with it, Mr. Morgan!’
I don’t think I’ve ever heard the malevolent cancel culture mob better described, nor felt such a sudden surge of clarity for a new purpose in life flow through my veins. I was now on a mission: to cancel the cancel culture.
That goal begins in earnest tomorrow night with the launch of my daily global TV show, Piers Morgan Uncensored, which will air on Rupert Murdoch’s new TalkTV network in the UK, on Fox Nation in America, and on Sky News Australia.
It will do what it says on the tin. Each night, I’ll be giving my uncensored thoughts on the news and issues facing the world, with myriad guests who will also be free to speak their minds.
As you may have heard, my first show is an explosive interview with my old friend Donald Trump that turned acrimonious when I told him I didn’t believe his persistent, unsubstantiated assertion that he had the 2020 US election stolen from him by a ‘rigged’ vote. He called me a fool seven times and ended up angrily stomping away from our interview, barking ‘turn the camera off!’ and branding me ‘so dishonest!’
But it was an earlier exchange, in which Trump berated me for walking off GMB on my last day that perfectly encapsulated the spirit of what I want my show to be. ‘I thought you over-reacted,’ he said. ‘I just didn’t like the way you handled it. Is that OK? I don’t know if you’re going to leave this in your interview? I don’t want to insult you.’
‘The show is called Piers Morgan Uncensored,’ I replied. ‘You’re allowed to have your opinion.’ (Incidentally, Trump loved the show’s name: ‘I don’t think if they told you to behave yourself, you can, so it’s probably a very accurate title!’)
In a way, The Donald is a good example of the ultimate test of what free speech really means. He may be one of the world’s most divisive and polarizing people, but you don’t have to like him, or agree with what he says, to still respect that he’s allowed to say what he thinks. In fact, you can hate his guts, as many people do, but that doesn’t mean you have the right to silence him.
Yet that is exactly what Twitter did last year when they banned him from tweeting, while inexplicably continuing to allow Vladimir Putin, the Supreme Leader of Iran, and Taliban chiefs to have active accounts.
How can that kind of arbitrary, morally inconsistent censorship be right in a supposedly democratic society?
This week, billionaire maverick Elon Musk, who is trying to buy Twitter and restore true free speech to the platform, said: ‘The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable.’
This came after the streaming service’s stock collapsed by 35 per cent following news that 200,000 people had unsubscribed, seemingly bored of the constant virtue-signaling fare on offer.
To give you some idea, Netflix dropped a new comedy series last week called He’s Expecting, about a man who has a baby. If they’d called it She’s Expecting, the woke warriors who laughably claim to be feminist while constantly eradicating women’s rights would have furiously demanded they change it to A Pregnant Person’s Expecting to avoid offending transgender activists.
Musk has spoken before about the ‘woke mind virus’, telling satirical Conservative outlet The Babylon Bee last December it represented ‘a world without humor’. He explained: ‘Generally, I think we should be aiming for a positive society and it should be OK to be humorous. Wokeness basically wants to make comedy illegal, which is not cool. At its heart, wokeness is divisive, exclusionary and hateful. It basically gives mean people a shield to be cruel, armored in false virtue.’
He’s so right. The people driving this insidious cancel culture mentality profess to be fair, kind, tolerant liberals but in fact they are modern-day fascists intent on dictating how the rest of us lead our lives, and if you deviate from their draconian joyless world view, they rush to vilify, shame, abuse and destroy you. And groveling to this frenzied self-righteous mob makes no difference.
My other big interview next week is with another old friend, Sharon Osbourne, who was forced out of her US show The Talk after supporting me over the GMB fiasco. She didn’t even say she agreed with my opinions, she just said I was entitled to them.
For that, Sharon was accused of being a racist for backing someone (me!) who’d supposedly also been racist merely by disbelieving Meghan Markle – and bang, despite issuing several fulsome public apologies, she was cancelled, subjected to horrific death threats, and spent the next year in soul-crushing professional purdah until I uncanceled her and brought her to TalkTV to front a new panel show airing after mine called... The Talk!
— Piers Morgan
THE FLYING SORCERERS
Here's the recording of last night's (2022-04-22) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA):
Thanks to Hank Sims for all kinds of tech help over the years, as well as for his fine news site: https://LostCoastOutpost.com
And thanks to the Anderson Valley Advertiser, which provided almost an hour of the above eight-hour show's most locally relevant material, as usual, without asking for anything in return. Though I do pay $25 annually for full access to all articles and features, and you can too. As well as go to KNYO.org, click on the big red heart and give what you can. Also email me your work on any subject and I'll read it on the radio this coming Friday night.
Besides All That, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:
Music from Nancy.
The Chordettes. When they throw the buckets of lollipops into the crowd-- so dangerous. They could easily poke somebody's eye out. In those days they didn't care. There were a million kids everywhere and more all the time. If your child lost an eye that would be a great story to hand down the family for generations. If you really needed a kid with two good eyes or legs or whatever, or even for it to just be alive, you were getting another one anyway. This was reflected in playground equipment, the draft, toys, flammable pyjamas, every aspect of society.
Cryptocurrency and NFTs. "Sure, it might be problematic to talk in such banal fashion about an entire gender. But as a porn star who caters to males' secret desires, I know a thing or two about men." (via Fark)
And the leprechaun menace.
— Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
KIDS PLAYING WITH BRICKS made out of money during the hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic in 1923
CENSORSHIP will not halt America’s march towards Christian fascism. Weimar Germany attempted to thwart Nazi fascism by enforcing rigorous hate-speech laws. In the 1920s, it banned the Nazi party. Nazi leaders, including Joseph Goebbels, were prosecuted for hate speech. Julius Streicher, who ran the virulently anti-Semetic tabloid The Stormer (Der Stürmer), was fired from his teaching post, repeatedly fined and had his newspapers confiscated. He was taken to court numerous times for libel and served a series of jail sentences.
But like those serving sentences for the assault on the Capitol on January 6, or like Trump, the persecution of Nazi leaders only enhanced their stature the longer the German ruling class failed to address the economic and social misery.
There are many similarities to the 1930s, including the power of predatory international banks to consolidate wealth into the hands of a few oligarchs and impose punishing austerity measures on the global working class.
“More than anything else, the Nazis were a nationalist protest movement against globalization,” notes Benjamin Carter Hett in “The Death of Democracy: Hitler’s Rise to Power and The Downfall of the Weimar Republic.”
Shutting down critics in a decayed and corrupt society is equivalent to turning off the oxygen on a seriously ill patient. It hastens mortality rather than delaying or preventing it. The convergence of a looming economic crisis, fear by a bankrupt ruling class that they will soon be banished from power, the growing ecological catastrophe and the inability to thwart self-destructive military adventurism against Russia and China, have set the stage for an American implosion.
Those of us who see it coming, and who desperately seek to prevent it, have become the enemy.
— Chris Hedges, chrishedges.substack.com/p/american-commissars