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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, May 14, 2022

Weak Front | Free Food | Big Stink | No CRV | Log Boat | PG&E Deforestation | Weed Revenue | Bring Back | Limit Rentals | Sponsor Williams | Laytonville Fair | School Updates | Courthouse Palace | River Sketch | Ed Notes | Western Civ | Ukraine | Video Mag | Undam Eel | Police Reports | Boring Dystopia | Yesterday's Catch | Wintu Warning | Greenwood Incline | Sinking Feeling | Shoot Me | Weed Event | George Carlin | Not Crazy | Conspiracy Stomp | Animal Fund | Joe & Jackie | America Calling | Double-Header | Good Dude | Smart Kitty | Love Everyone | Christian Fascists | Union Lumber | Marco Radio | Postmodern Teeth | Appliance Models | Dem Support | American Militarism

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SOME AREAS OF DRIZZLE AND FOG will linger this morning toward the coast, but much of the interior will see a warm and sunny afternoon. Expect more coastal clouds and occasional drizzle through Monday morning, while a weak cold front passes by. Pacific high pressure will bring a bit more sunshine along with northwest breezes early next week, followed by the next chance for light rain mid to late week. (NWS)

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FORT BRAGG STINKS, that’s what a couple of callers reported to us on Friday, adding that depending on the wind direction, the City’s new sewage treatment plant is creating a major stink for those downwind in recent days and weeks. 

THEN, coincidentally, the City issued the following press release later that day:

WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT ACTIVITY UPDATE 

Nearly two years ago, the City of Fort Bragg completed a major upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant facility to improve the reliability and quality of effluent (treated water released into the ocean). The new treatment system has proved to be far more efficient in the removal of solids from the waste stream than expected. This translates into a much greater need for onsite storage of the biosolids at the treatment facility. This is the source of the odor that many have experienced near the treatment plant facility located on the Coastal Trail and on occasion throughout the City. 

The City has purchased a biosolids dryer that will eliminate the odor at the wastewater facility. Staff has been working diligently to complete the installation and bring the unit on line as soon as possible. The City anticipates the equipment to be operational by mid-June. In the meantime, the City has continued treating the biosolids with a number of products to reduce the volume and combat odor. This week we have been able to remove and transport some the biosolids which have caused more odor than usual on the Coastal Trail and surrounding areas. 

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IT'S OFF

CRV recycling in Albion is CANCELLED (temporarily, we hope)

Hello Albion neighbors. 

Geri and Jason Winters took over receiving your CRV recyclables from Debbi Wolfe last year, and they just learned that, “Apparently the buy-back in Fort Bragg is permanently closed. Sadly, I guess this means no more recycle pickup€ in Albion. This is very disappointing. Maybe a solution to this roadblock will be found. I suggest that you hold your CRV recyclables for a while to see it this occurs.

Thank you, Debbi, Geri and Jason, for your years of volunteering to do this monthly recyclables pickup to help us all recycle and to make needed money for our volunteer Fire Dept.

Tom Wodetski

Albion

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A Log Boat on Big River, 1900

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PG&E'S TREE-SCAPING

I am home owner in Brooktrails Township, in Willits, CA. Many homeowners in this area are experiencing tree removal without permission or notification of any kind in the name of fire safety. I have seen it published that most of the fires in California were started by faulty electrical equipment or human stupidity and not by falling trees. Yet, PG and E is cutting down our trees.

Today, I went outside and noticed that sometime last Thursday or Friday, when I was not home, people where on my property without my permission, marking my trees. Some have yellow dots, others blue and there is also red plastic flagging tied on some branches. I have no clue what these dots mean, nor the red flagging. There are no letters of explanation either, so I do not know what plans are being made about my property, behind my back.

This all makes me very angry. We are losing more and more freedoms in this once free country and now we are losing the freedom to enjoy our trees. It is because of my trees have I have not yet installed air conditioning in my house, as they have provided enough shade to keep the interior of my house fairly cool during 100 degree days. The trees that are marked are the ones that block the afternoon sun. Will PG and E or the CPUC pay my higher electric bills and installation of air conditioning?

These trees that are being cut down are healthy and pose little fire risk, they shade our houses during the hot summer months, beautify our properties, sequester carbon, slow erosion and release oxygen.

I can’t help but think that there is more going on here than fire control, that much of this cutting is fueled by greed. I can’t seem to be able to find any information about how much money PGE is paying to various contractors for this deforestation, and nor can I find any information regarding how much money PGE is receiving for the sale of trees for lumber.

Please put an end to this wasteful cutting. Put pressure on the CPUC to restrict the cutting that PGE can do and allow homeowners to have control over the trees on their properties and also in their communities.

Sincerely,

Loretta Horowitz

Willits

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MENDOCINO COUNTY OWES LOCAL AMBULANCE SERVICES OVER $2 MILLION

by Mark Scaramella

At the April 19 Supervisors meeting Board was provided with a random collection of “preliminary” budget info which, for the first time, included a summary of the cannabis tax revenues the County has taken in since the County’s permit program was approved by the voters in 2016 with a pair of Cannabis Program Measures called Measure AI and Measure AJ. 

(Click to Enlarge)

Accompanying that chart was the following text:

“Revenue generated by the Cannabis department is considered General Fund and impacts Net County Cost (NCC) allocations. 

“Measure AJ advised the majority of revenues be used for enforcement of marijuana regulations, enhanced mental health services, repair of county roads, and an increase to fire and emergency services. 

“Cannabis revenue has been unpredictable over the last few years fiscal years (FY), which has the ability to significantly affect funding for core mandated services in varying departments, and adds a level of uncertainty in projecting revenue and balancing the budget.”

Buried further in the presentation was a list of “goals and priorities” which included: “Support for Emergency Services: Staffing support for Local Emergency Medical Services (LEMSA), Explore Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Joint Powers Authority (JPA).”

A few people (mainly Supervisor Ted Williams) are talking in very vague terms about a JPA, but it’s unlikely to go anywhere given the current County administration, as have all previous organizational jugglings.

Despite the above (admittedly easily overlooked) reminder, the Board missed yet another opportunity to honor Measure AJ. In fact, nobody in that meeting mentioned it. 

“Measure AJ. Advisory Vote Only.” [2016] “If Mendocino County adopts business license taxes on cannabis businesses by the adoption of the measure adopting Chapter 6.32, Measure AI [the County’s version of a pot permit program which has since turned out to be unworkable], should the County use the majority of that revenue for funding enforcement of marijuana regulations, enhanced mental health services, repair of county roads, and increased fire and emergency medical services?” 

The County’s “Impartial Analysis” which accompanied the Measure: “If the voters approve Measure AJ, it would serve to advise the Board of Supervisors that the voters want a majority of the revenue generated by the Cannabis Business Tax, Measure AI, for enforcement of marijuana regulations, enhanced mental health services, repair of county roads, and increased fire and emergency services.”

The Advisory measure was added to the ballot as a sweetener to convince local voters to choose the County’s program over a competing program proposed by pot growers themselves. 

With that “advisory” promise, Measures AI and AJ passed in 2016 by more than 2-1. 

According to the new pot tax revenue chart, total actual cannabis tax revenues so far through the end of June of 2021 are about $15.5 million, plus $3 million more projected for this fiscal year. For round numbers, let’s just say that cannabis taxes have generated at least $16 million.

According to the language in Measure AJ at least half of that $16 million — $8 million — should go to roads, mental health, emergency services and cannabis enforcement. The County can keep the other $8 million.

Remember, these four subjects were put forward by Mendocino County (not the voters) as the areas the Board at the time thought the cannabis money should go to.

I.e., $2 million for each category.

Therefore by the end of this fiscal year EMS will be owed 1/8th of the $16 million already collected, plus whatever has come in this year — or roughly $2 million.

A reasonable analysis of the Measure AJ language indicates that the revenues should apply to Emergency Services in the Unincorporated Areas of the County; the cities have their own Emergency Services and funding streams. So we’re talking about three Emergency Services agencies: Anderson Valley, Laytonville and Covelo; not Ukiah, not Fort Bragg, not Willits. 

To recap, by a conservative calculation, using the minimum of $16 million in actual revenues so far we get:

Half of $16 million = $8 million (plus more from this year).

Divide that by four (roads, mental health, emergency services, cannabis enforcement)

At least $2 million is past due and payable to County Emergency Services in the unincorporated areas of Covelo, Laytonville, Anderson Valley. 

Or, $2 million / 3 = almost $700k each for those three “struggling” (Supervisor Williams word) ambulance operations. 

Not that it needs to be said, but just in case some Supervisors have forgotten, a few years ago the County belatedly (and grudgingly) decided to include fire and ambulance services in the old Prop 172 sales tax disbursements when they acknowledged that Fire and Ambulance services are (obviously) part of “public safety” which Supervisor Williams says repeatedly is the County’s top priority for funding. 

Yet Supervisor Williams continues to stonewall much more modest requests for additional funding for the three unincorporated ambulance services, at one point saying that he (alone) thought that a “county-wide solution” was necessary. Then he trotted out the JPA idea which, at best, is years away. Then he suggested to Anderson Valley that Anderson Valley float their own local tax. Lately, he’s talking about a new county-wide tax. 

But again, that $2 million is the absolute minimum that is already past due.

A good case can be made that Mental Health is more than adequately funded already via state grants and Measure B.

And “Enforcement” (i.e., cannabis code enforcement staff) should be a calculable number for the years in question and we doubt it comes to one fourth of half of the over-$16 million.

In other words, substantially more than $2 million is overdue for ambulance services.

Other points:

Failure to honor this advisory measure in good faith means that the public will lose faith in County promises in future ballot measures.

Ambulance services are essential services and are in universally acknowledged financial difficulty — now. Not some day in the imaginary future of JPAs and new tax measures…

Ambulance services in the unincorporated areas are mostly volunteers, meaning that the money they get is multiplied several times over in terms of value received.

Ambulance services in Mendocino County only get a small percentage of what they bill for after responding, at all hours, to road accidents and health emergencies among visitors. In America’s convoluted health care billing arrangements, much of this volunteer work goes un-reimbursed.

If necessary, the communities involved are prepared to circulate a petition for a ballot measure to force the County to spend the money as Measure AJ “advised.” But Anderson Valley, Laytonville and Covelo shouldn’t have to do that. 

Mendo could start to honor what the voters “advised” right now by allocating a significant portion of that owed $2 million they’ve already raked in to the County’s struggling ambulance services that need immediate help. The Supervisors have been sitting on it and thumbing their collective noses at the public’s advice for years. 

PS. As of last month, the Executive Office had 16 authorized positions, one of which was vacant. The majority of those 16 are “Deputy CEOs” which cost around $200k each with benefits. Three years ago, in April of 2019, the Executive Office had 12 positions with two vacant. There has never been a single question about where the money comes from for those additional Deputy CEOs. 

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AN EXCERPT from a Press Democrat article by Ethan Varian explains what happened when Sonoma County announced plans to tighten regulations on Vacation Rentals. This must not happen here! 

“Already, county officials said they've received 50 vacation rental permit applications since announcing a March 17 public hearing on the proposed changes. The county normally receives around 10 applications a month. It feels like there's chum in the water right now with the feeding frenzy,” said Hopkins, who represents west county and the lower Russian River, a popular region for second homes, but where many residents have concerns about vacation rentals.”

If you haven't already, please sign the Housing Action Team's petition to limit commercial vacation rentals: HATMendoCoast.org

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WILLIAMS COMES ALIVE: 

Mendocino BOS - May 17 - items 3e, 3f

Approval of Transmission of Letter Requesting Governor Gavin Newsom Work with the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety to Temporarily Halt PG&E’s Enhanced Vegetation Management (EVM) Program in Mendocino County

(Sponsor: Supervisor Williams)

Approval of Transmission of Letter Requesting the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety to Temporarily Halt PG&E’s Enhanced Vegetation Management (EVM) Program in Mendocino County

(Sponsor: Supervisor Williams)

SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS: 

Adoption of Resolution Committing to Significantly Reduce the Amount of Trash and Litter in Coastal Watersheds Through Enhanced Visitor Education and Outreach in Collaboration With Marin and Sonoma Counties, and in Coordination With Local Jurisdictions, Federal And State Agencies, Tribal Partners and Community Non-profits; and Authorization of the Execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with Marin County, Sonoma County and Leave No Trace to Accomplish this Goal.

(Sponsors: Supervisor Williams and Supervisor Gjerde)

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MEASURE M & OTHER SCHOOL UPDATES

Dear Anderson Valley Community,

We hope you had a wonderful week!

Many important events are coming up over the next few weeks. Please mark your calendars and join us:

Important Dates:

  • Bond Walkthrough at the Elementary School–May 19 4:30 p.m.
  • Preschool graduation May 27–Preschool Lawn
  • Prom May 27–High School
  • Sixth grade graduation June 6–High School
  • High school awards night: June 7 –High School
  • Eighth grade graduation June 8–High School
  • High school graduation June 9–High School--Ticket Required

Measure M

Measure M ballots have been mailed and may be returned to fairgrounds ballot box during office hours or mailed. All ballots must be turned in or mailed by June 7. A fact sheet is attached. Join us next Thursday at the elementary school for a tour at 4:30 p.m.

Wasc High School Committee

If you are interested in serving on a focus group committee for the high school accreditation process, please let me know. This is a great way to let your thoughts be known about areas of strength and areas to grow.

We Need Teachers And Aides

We have several full and part-time teaching openings. You don't need a teaching credential. If you have a Bachelor''s degree, we can work with you to get a required temporary permit. If you have 90 units and are currently enrolled in a credential program, we also have some options for short term permits. We need some help! Please call Sara Hayward at (707) 895-3774 ext. 603. We are also seeking support staff.

Covid Testing

We had one positive pool this week district wide. Thank you for your vigilance in keeping students home when they are sick.

Fun Picture Of The Week

The High School secretarial staff cooked up a tasty lunch on Thursday! What school provides barbecue? Thank you Teri, Mel, Letty, and Vicky! Sid Frazier's class sprouted sunflowers from seeds they grew last year. What fun!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sincerely yours,

Louise Simson, Superintendent

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LIFE IN UKIAH

by John Arteaga

Suddenly there are so many big projects imminent locally that will forever affect life in Ukiah, and not for the better.

After languishing on the state’s back burner for years, the powers that be are suddenly hot to trot with this disastrous new courthouse project (more on that later). At the same time the long-past-its-expiration-date ruin of the old Palace Hotel has found a new impossible dreamer who, like the present ‘owners’, the Ishtars, and before them the much ballyhooed ‘public receiver’ from San Diego or somewhere, who took over the doomed ruins from decades of neglect by its previous owner, Marin realtor, Eladia Laines, is eyeing a role as the latest Deus ex machina, who is going to drop out of the heavens to solve all its problems.

Minal Shankar may now join the many-decades-long procession of wasting even more years keeping this chunk of downtown Ukiah off limits to her citizens and unable to provide any sort of public utility to anyone.

Many years ago, as a young newbie to Ukiah, I was one of those who enjoyed the Palace in its heyday; the cozy bar with its giant fireplace, the happening Back Door music venue, and of course the Palace’s haute cuisine restaurant, where I was introduced to the gastronomic delight of garlic and goat cheese roasted in olive oil.

Even then it was living on borrowed time; it owed its entire existence to federal funds which in those days Washington used to disburse on things like the CETA make-work program when the economy experienced a downturn and people were having a hard time finding jobs. It was a good use of public monies which gave a start to many successful local tradespeople, but the work was mainly cosmetic; rather than digging deep into the structural, plumbing, wiring etc., the building was prettied up for a few more years of service before its deeper issues became impossible to ignore.

Soon enough, the high-end hotel became a flophouse for the needy, until the leaks and the deferred maintenance made it uninhabitable. Finally, several decades after it closed, someone in Ukiah’s bureaucracy noticed this huge malignancy in the heart of town and thought about addressing it. If it was uninhabitable all those years ago, do you even need any inspection to conclude that with many more years of leaky roof and open windows, there isn’t a stick of lumber in the whole compost heap that’s worth saving?!

I remember, all those years ago, the incredible lost opportunity when someone speaking for the city said that they were not interested in dealing with it because it would cost 350,000 to tear down, after which it would only be worth 250,000… OMG!, You mean that the city of Ukiah would lose a whole hundred thousand dollars, and only have almost a whole city block in the heart of town to show for it? I mean, city and county governments regularly write checks for more than that to, say, outside counsel lawyers for their dubious services without thinking twice about it! 100 K is barely a rounding error when you compile all the money foolishly spent on The Palace money pit since then.

John McCowen, a prominent Ukiah property owner, as well as one of the county’s most hard-working supervisors in recent memory, once told me that, “without a demolition permit in hand, the Palace is not an asset but rather, a liability”. Nothing in the intervening years has made this fact any less true; quite the contrary, it has only become more rotten and worthless.

Ms. Shankar is no doubt a pretty bright lady who has done well for herself in the world of high finance, but the fact that you may be skilled in arbitrage doesn’t necessarily mean that you know anything about plain old bricks and mortar. I’m glad to see that she has given herself a generous escrow period in which to do due diligence. I will bet dollars for doughnuts that unless she receives extraordinarily bad advice on the kind of costs that she is looking at to bring the old Palace into California seismic compliance, that once she sees the expected costs, alongside reasonable expectations of potential revenues, she will drop the escrow like a hot potato.

I’ve seen seismic retrofits of old brick buildings, down in San Francisco, and anyone who knows anything about construction will tell you that the costs involved are an order of magnitude greater than what it would cost to simply clear the lot and build a new, modern, steel frame structure from scratch.

If one were so enamored of the crumbling façade of the present building, one could even recycle the brick and do a single brick veneer exterior on the new structure; make it look exactly the way it looks today! Of course, any discussion of demolishing the old dump would bring preservationists out of its the woodwork to fight the idea tooth and nail, no matter how impossible it may be to economically remodel the old ruin.

Though it may be baying in the wilderness at this point, the most reasonable thing would be to locate the new courthouse on the present Palace property; excavate the entire lot and create underground parking in its entire footprint, then build whatever palatial court structure the incredibly expensive process of state-funded construction requires. They could even build a secure third floor bridge over to the old courthouse to continue with the convenience of having all of the other offices in the present courthouse having access directly to the new one.

Am I the only one who sees the absurdity of the present plan, which will destroy what is left of downtown Ukiah, instead of this obvious logical solution that would preserve and enhance it? It can’t really be too late to rethink this terrible idea!

You can read this and older postings on my blog at; https://www.blogger.com/blog/posts/5370811933821505309

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ED NOTES

I KNOW, I KNOW. Most of this was posted last night, but the story is ongoing and I wanted to make sure the unprecedented viciousness of the scurrilous campaign against Mendo's school chief, Michele Hutchins, gets all the attention it deserves. I've asked Hutchins' challenger, Nicole Glentzer, for comment.

DEAR MS. GLENTZER:

As your challenge to the incumbent Superintendent, Michele Hutchins, began, you assured the public your campaign would be “clean.” Of course you can't be responsible for the actions of your more zealous supporters, but it seems to me you might want to denounce the person or persons who have removed Hutchins' campaign posters up and down the Mendocino Coast. Speaking for myself, I still haven't seen specific criticisms of Hutchins' performance in office, only vague “I hear” and “I heard” statements on social media, none of it for publication.

Thank you for considering this request.

Bruce Anderson, AVA, Boonville

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MICHELLE HUTCHINS, incumbent Superintendent of the Mendocino County Schools, has been on the receiving end of the nastiest secret slander campaign I've seen in the fifty years I've lived in Boonville. This letter is typical:

“The ballots are here. At this time, I have only one important recommendation. I’ve received a number of comments about the job Michelle Hutchins (county Ed Sup) is doing. None good. I’m happy to provide more information privately, but for now my recommendation is a vote for Nicole Glentzer for County Superintendent of Schools.”

Ginny Rorby

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SUBSEQUENT EXCHANGE

Dear Ms. Rorby:

What have you heard about incumbent superintendent Hutchins?

IMO she's the victim of the most malicious secret slander campaign I've seen in my fifty years in Mendocino County.

Best to you,

Bruce Anderson, AVA

Bruce, without saying who this came from, this is one several the reports I've received. 

For my part, Nicole is endorsed by Becky Walker, FBUSD superintendent, whom we all know and admire here on the Coast.

“What I've witnessed and heard from trusted sources, Michelle Hutchins (current County of Ed Supt.) is not an effective leader, but more importantly, she is vindictive and unprofessional. If you disagree with her, you become her enemy, and the school(s) you represent suffer for it. I've seen it happen repeatedly. Kids do not come first for her, and her ego is her driving force.

I first heard about Michelle from my doctor in the Bay Area whose daughter works as a teacher in Anderson Valley, where Michelle was Superintendent. She told me how awful Michelle was at her job, and that she was dishonest and vindictive.

I first met Michelle at a League of Women Voters campaign workshop. Michelle told those of us mounting our first campaign, that what she did in her campaign was concentrate all of her campaigning inland, primarily in Willits and Ukiah, where nobody knew her and likely didn't know about her troubles in Anderson Valley.

That being said, I don't know Michelle's opponent, Nicole Glentzer, only that she is the assistant superintendent of Ukiah Unified, and she comes highly recommended by the Ukiah Unified Superintendent, Deb Kubo, whom I do know and have great respect for.” {Kubin]

Ginny Rorby

All pretty vague, Ms. R but thank you for replying. As a resident of AV I watched Ms. Hutchins at work here and I've got to say I think, and our school board thought, Ms. Hutchins did a good job but was disliked by a handful of elementary staff who continue to malign her [for reasons having to do with personalities]. Anyway, best to you and thank you again for responding.

Bruce Anderson

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THE HUTCHINS campaign reports that all Hutchins' campaign signs on the Coast have been stolen. Never seen anything like this in Mendocino County, and the persons doing this are “educating” your children.

THANK the gods of justice and fair play that important people are ignoring the secret slander campaign against Michele Hutchins mounted by the management of Ukiah Unified and retired superintendent Paul Tichinin operating out of Fort Bragg:

DA EYSTER: “I am joining former Sheriff Tom Allman in endorsing Michelle Hutchins' re-election” David Eyster, Mendocino County District Attorney.

DR. MARVIN TROTTER: “I enthusiastically support Supt. Hutchins for re-election. We have MULTIPLE problems in our society. They can all be improved with the best education possible for our children. ESPECIALLY in elementary school. Supt. Hutchins has the intelligence, experience, common sense, and commitment to make improvements in our children's education. PLEASE join me in Re-Electing Supt. Hutchins — Sincerely, Marvin Trotter, MD”

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MARK SCARAMELLA ADDS: 

The particular claim about Superintendent Hutchins that “If you disagree with her, you become her enemy, and the school(s) you represent suffer for it,” is very indicative of the nastiness of the critics. A couple of months ago I wrote about an incident where Superintendent Hutchins denied a funding request from the top brass at Ukiah Unified which Ms. Kubin (not Kubo) wanted for, among other things, a “retreat” for her top staff and some favored “consultants.” (Ukiah Unified has much more top staff than the County Office.) Ms. Hutchins turned down that request and I wrote it up, and the next thing I knew these slurs against her began. In my view, the reverse of the claim that “you become her enemy” is at work here. In fact, characterizing a simple funding turn down (for retreats of all things) — i.e., “disagreeing” with the request — is true. And then to say that “the school(s) you represent suffer for it,” sounds like a little less money for the Ukiah school administration is equivalent to hurting “the kids.” The fact that we are not told what the “disagreements” are, nor the merits or demerits of those disagreements, means that they have to do with “disagreements” about what the complainers felt entitled to based on no-questions-asked handouts from prior County Edu Office holders. The scurrilous nature of this vague slur campaign does more to convince me that Ms. Hutchins has been made into the “enemy” by those she may have denied funding for, never mind that Hutchins cites the Ed Code in the denial. In my day, obviously long ago now, when the boss said no, that simply meant no. But to these people when the boss says No, that’s grounds for a slur campaign with words like “enemy” and “not an effective leader.” 

Background: Why Nicole?

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The Decline of Western Civ

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UKRAINE FRIDAY

As Friday draws to a close in Kyiv and in Moscow, here are the key developments of the day:

The first war crimes trial of the war in Ukraine began in Kyiv. A Russian soldier stands accused of fatally shooting an unarmed Ukrainian civilian in the northeastern village of Chupakhivka. The accused, a captured member of a tank unit, faces up to life in prison.

Another first during the war: U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Austin pressed for an immediate cease-fire in Ukraine and stressed the importance of maintaining lines of communication, the Pentagon said. Russia's Foreign Ministry said the phone call was “at the initiative of the American side,” Russia's state-owned TASS news agency reported, adding, “The sides discussed current issues of international security, including the situation in Ukraine.”

A Moscow court handed U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner another month of pretrial detention in Russia. The 31-year-old WNBA and Olympics star was arrested in February at the Moscow airport, where authorities allegedly found cannabis vape oil in her luggage. The Biden administration says Griner is being wrongfully detained. Her lawyer, Alexander Boikov, tells NPR that Griner has “been treated OK and has no concerns or complaints about her health.”

Ukrainian forces repelled Russia's attempt to cross a key river into eastern Ukraine's Donbas region, according to British intelligence. Russia suffered losses trying to cross the Siverskyi Donets river, the British Defense Ministry said on Twitter, including “significant armoured manoeuvre elements” of at least one battalion tactical group.

The European Union's foreign affairs chief announced the bloc would provide another 500 million euros ($520.13 million) in military support to Ukraine. Speaking to reporters at a G-7 meeting, Josep Borrell said the new tranche would increase the EU's total Ukraine aid to 2 billion euros ($2.08 billion). Borrell was also confident the bloc would soon reach a deal on a Russian oil embargo.

Ukraine is heavily favored to win Saturday's Eurovision Song Contest,which takes place in Turin, Italy, at 3 p.m. Eastern time. The Kalush Orchestra will perform a song incorporating traditional folk melodies, costumes and instruments alongside vigorous rap breaks. The band will face competition from two dozen other finalists. Russia is banned from this year's competition. 

— NPR

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EUREKA PRODUCTIONS LATEST VIDEO NEWS MAGAZINE

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POTTER VALLEY PROJECT AS WE KNOW IT IS DEAD

by David Keller

PG&E is getting rid of its obsolete, dangerous and expensive Potter Valley Project on the Eel River. PG&E has declined to re-license the project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and no other qualified entity is interested. Time is up: the license will be surrendered, and the project will be decommissioned.

PG&E recognizes that its century-old hydropower project loses money on the electricity generated (now shut down for the next few years due to major equipment failure), and was poorly designed and constructed too close to an earthquake fault and large, active landslide. It kills and harms protected salmon and steelhead. Cape Horn Dam’s fish ladder is poorly designed, easily clogged with sediment and debris, and prevents the fish from volitional migration passage up and downstream. Scott Dam (forming Lake Pillsbury) is too high for a fish ladder, blocking access to more than 280 miles of superb cold-water salmonid habitat, according to recent National Marine Fisheries Service study, and does not meet current standards for safety and stability. In short, the Potter Valley Project is a major liability. That’s not a “radical” evaluation, but reality.

Instead of recognizing that these changes will happen, some people are bitter, disingenuous and increasingly obstructionist. They built wealth using the cheap imported water from Potter Valley Project diversions. They’ve smeared our congressman, Jared Huffman, who has worked hard to guide and help craft a solution for the divergent interests of Eel River fisheries recovery and Russian River water supply reliability.

By hanging on to a delusion that the Potter Valley Project should not change, they are ramping up conflicts and confusion for Russian River stakeholders for decades to come. It’s time to move on with the well-reasoned and modeled proposals for dam removal and run-of-the-river diversions from the Eel to Lake Mendocino and other storage.

Beneficiaries of water taken from the Eel River can recognize the inevitable changes coming and create an agency in Sonoma and Mendocino counties that can modernize, fund, own, operate and maintain the useful components of the 115-year-old Potter Valley Project. PG&E will undam the Eel, and we can honor the necessity of volitional salmonid passage and full recovery of the once magnificent Eel River, while providing long-term seasonal augmentation to water naturally flowing in the Russian River.

(David Keller is Bay Area director for Friends of the Eel River. He lives in Petaluma.)

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SHIMMINS RIDGE LOVE TRIANGLE

On Friday, May 6, 2022 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a call about a possible assault which occurred in the 32000 block of Shimmins Ridge Road in Willits.

The Deputies learned that at approximately 5:05 PM a 33 year-old adult female was parked in a vehicle in the 32000 block of Shimmins Ridge, when Tesla Hencz, 27, of Laytonville, drove past. Deputies believed the 33-year old adult female and Hencz had been arguing because they were both romantically dating the same person.

Tesla Hence

Hencz turned her vehicle around and rammed into the front of the adult female's vehicle. During the incident the adult female, heard a single gunshot and her vehicle's tire deflated.

Hencz then left the area towards the direction of Highway 162. Deputies checked the area but did not locate Hencz or her vehicle and a BOLO (Be-On-The-Look-Out) was issued to local law enforcement agencies.

On Saturday, May 7, 2022 a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy noticed Hencz driving her vehicle in the Laytonville area.

The Deputy conducted a traffic stop on Hencz and she was subsequently arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism and an active misdemeanor warrant.

Deputies found a spent .22 caliber shell casing inside the vehicle. Deputies further noticed Hencz's vehicle had damage to the front of the vehicle consistent with the reported incident.

Hencz was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $32,500 bail.

========================

NUMEROUS VEHICLE VIOLATIONS AND....

On Friday, May 6, 2022 at about 11:30 PM a Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Deputy noticed a vehicle towing a trailer traveling southbound on Highway 101 in Willits.

The Deputy conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle for numerous vehicle code violations. The Deputy contacted two subjects in the vehicle who identified as Jesus Paredes, 24, of Clearlake, and Juan Marquez-Diego, 36, of Clearlake.

Jesus Paredes

The subjects consented to a search of their vehicle and trailer. Inside the trailer, Deputies found 128 approximately 2 foot tall growing marijuana plants.

The Deputy learned the pair were traveling from Covelo (California) to Clearlake (California) with the plants. The subjects did not have any paperwork to show these plants were possessed legally.

Juan Marquez-Diego

Paredes and Marquez-Diego were arrested for transportation for sale of marijuana and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Paredes and Marquez-Diego were booked to the Mendocino County Jail to be held in lieu of $20,000 bail each.

* * *

I AM NOT A ROBOT

by Elaine Glaser

Please go to checkout number nine. See it, say it, sorted. I have read the terms and conditions. Accept all cookies. We are currently experiencing very high call volumes. Please take a moment to give us your feedback. I am not a robot.

These messages are the soundtrack to modern life. On trains, futile reminders to ‘keep your belongings with you at all times’ and totalitarianism-lite security announcements are repeated at a nonsensical, intolerable frequency. In supermarkets, the faux friendliness of self-checkouts compounds the irritation of forgetting once again that the bagging area is on the left. Being misinformed that ‘your call is important to us’ is increasingly superseded by the even more infuriating chatbots.

The messages are as ubiquitous on screen as they are on the tannoy: the bad-faith charade of the terms and conditions tick box, the blatant cynicism of ‘we value your privacy’, the humiliating drudgery of spotting which photographs contain traffic lights. We are thwarted by incompatible browsers and out-of-date operating systems, waste mornings deciphering technical message-board threads, and at every turn – including, yes, on the LRB website – encounter expressionless words on closed doors. ‘Please enter your username’. ‘Please enter your password’. ‘That username or password is incorrect’. And then there is the secret relief, tinged with self-loathing, of spending time on such tasks instead of our (if we’re lucky) more meaningful, but daunting, real work.

For a radio programme (entitled Noise), Jon Holmes and I have interviewed scores of ordinary citizens exasperated by what Mark Fisher called ‘boring dystopia’. Consumer wormholes are a big part of it – everyone has a story about trying to fix a broken phone, switch energy supplier or trace a lost package. But the condition is pervasive: a pernicious computer-generated miasma through which we interact with the world.

Why is it that in an age of cutting-edge technology and corporate efficiency so many of us spend our days mastering yet another counter-intuitive software system, struggling to stay friendly on the phone to IT support, or going through the motions of an online training course?

For the anthropologist David Graeber, the answer was twofold. First, the glitches and pointless routines are in fact intrinsic to late capitalism: proof, along with the rise of ‘bullshit jobs’ in services and management, that private-sector efficacy is a myth. Second, bureaucracy conceals violence: it is a way of exerting state power or corporate coercion at arm’s length, by outsourcing it to third-hand ‘service providers’ and disavowing it through form-filling and the use of opaque, generic language.

There are other factors. Cost-cutting in both the public and private sectors drives a race to the bottom: the alternatives are no better, or don’t exist. Administrative labour is devolved onto customers (everyone’s a customer now) – the so-called ‘time tax’. Platform capitalism turns a chat at the checkout (the vestiges of community) into wordless delivery by an exploited moped driver. Automation begets automation: we have to book online because everyone else does.

As Hannah Arendt observed, in a bureaucratic society ‘everybody is deprived of political freedom, of the power to act.’ No wonder the Brexit promise to ‘take back control’ had such appeal (though we’re now even more ensnared in red tape). In a fully developed bureaucracy, Arendt wrote, ‘there is nobody left with whom one could argue, to whom one could present grievances, on whom the pressures of power could be exerted.’ The call handlers are not responsible, you remind yourself, your blood pressure rising.

In 2014, Rory Stewart suggested that ordinary Afghans have more power than British citizens, because at least they have a role in their village. ‘The secret of modern Britain,’ he said, ‘is there is no power anywhere.’ Every prime minister since Blair, he claimed, has found that even they somehow can’t get anything done. ‘You get there and you pull the lever, and nothing happens.’

There may be some truth to this, but it’s also a version of the lie that ‘we are all in this together.’ We are not all equally powerless, and bureaucracy protects corporate and state power by channelling resistance into ‘feedback’ and complaints that get lost in the weeds.

And there are other ways to respond. The composer Neil Luck has transformed those formulas and protocols into a piece of music for soprano, cello and saxophone. You can hear it at 6:45 on Sunday evening on Radio 3. As long as the download works.

(London Review of Books)

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, May 13, 2022

Anderson, Drew, Foster

AUSTIN ANDERSON, Ukiah. Damaging power lines, vandalism, parole violation.

JEROLD DREW, Redwood Valley. Domestic battery, threatening police officer, resisting.

CHARLES FOSTER, Willits. Protective order violation, resisting.

Hoaglin, Keys, Palley, Peterson

JOSEPH HOAGLIN, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, controlled substance.

RONALD KEYS, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocaiton.

MARK PALLEY, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ERIC PETERSON, Laytonville. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, getting credit with someone else’s ID, failure to appear.

Simpson, Vanwormer, Vasquez

GERALD SIMPSON, Willits. Trespassing, county parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

ELEA VANWORMER, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

CATEYANO VASQUEZ-PEREZ, Clearlake/Ukiah. DUI.

* * *

I HAVE READ THAT the Wintu Indians, who lived at the foot of Mount Shasta, where the great flow of northern water begins, watched in bewilderment in the 1850s as the white man started to erect his system of moving the rain. The natives could not fathom the pressure the stranger was putting on the land. Demands of this sort would stretch the earth too thin, the Indian warned. Cracks would open up in the ground and swallow up mankind. The spirit of the land would strike back first as drought and then more devastatingly as flood. “When the Indians all die, then God will let the water come down from the north. Everyone will drown. The white people dig deep long tunnels. Eventually the water will come.” Be careful what you wish for, the Wintu were telling us.

I live in arid lands in a valley where men and mules, before my time, pulled an army of Fresno graders across the barren westside and eastside and acres in between. This scraper, a 5 foot wide hunk of sheet iron invented by a man named James Porteous whose great-grandson was my classmate in high school, revolutionized the movement of dirt throughout the world in the years before the gas powered bulldozer. The Valley in its natural state resembled a rolling savanna not unlike the Serengeti. The scraper reconfigured the land field by field, leveling knolls and filling in gulches, a huge continuous flattening that allowed the waters of irrigation to move like a cue ball across green felt. I grew up here in the years when the system knew no bounds, and we could ignore our temperament without consequence and go on believing that rain truly followed the plow or whatever else we chose to impose on the land. We understood from all that we had been told, and could see, that we were the exception to the laws of aridity because we live not in the West not in a place west of the West. Our Sierra Nevada wasn't a simple mountain range, but one of the most prolific watersheds on earth. It not only mitigated aridity, but but negated it. I felt sorry for the California doomsayer. Time and again we have proven him or her wrong with our capacity to invent and reinvent, no more so than when it came to the captire and movement of water.

This time, though, something feels different. We have run out of tricks, or at least the easy ones. A fastening has come undone. The water system that allowed California to be California can no longer keep up with our ambitions. It was designed to withstand five years of drought, but most of its parts were built in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, and it's plumbing no longer appears sufficient. The people who drink from it number too many. It is a troubling fact, at least to those urbanites who live north and south of us, that 8 out of 10 drops of captured water go to the farmers. How had such a taking come about? Can a different portioning out among North, Middle and South be fashioned a half-century after the fact without risking civil war? Is water pushing out to the ocean in a pulse as old as time really a waste? The colossal bulwark we have put to the task will not see us into a future of more almonds, more houses and more people, that is sure. Something has to give. One thing is certain in the meantime: the tribes of the North, Middle and South will keep on warring.

Mark Arax, ‘The Dreamt Land’

* * *

Tracks, Incline, Mill at Greenwood, 1900

* * *

THAT SINKING FEELING

by James Kunstler

You might ask yourself: Why is it “important” that we spend thirty, forty, fifty billion dollars pounding sand down the rat hole that is post-Maidan Ukraine, grift central for the sketchy nexus of US politicians and their sponsors in the warcraft industry? Answer: Aside from one final magnificent payday, they are producing a grand opera of distraction to direct the American public’s attention from the sinking of our own ship-of-state in the waters of Babylon.

That giant wad of money, you understand, goes mainly to the likes of Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Textron, Boeing, et cetera, and a substantial portion re-circulates through the K-Street laundromat into the congressional campaign finance wishing well, while billions more get creamed off by Mr. Zelenskyy & Co. — providing self-reinforcing incentives to, how shall we say, blow more shit up on the global landscape.

It does not escape the attention, however, of some people on deck that the US ship is riding lower in the water each day, and listing at a distressing angle. Many other passengers have retreated to their staterooms, sick from the “vaccines” they were required to take to stay on-board for the voyage. Meanwhile water is streaming in below-decks, down in the stinking bilges, from many cracks in the hull. Nobody seems to know what to do, least of all the ship’s captain, who won’t come out of his quarters. (It’s whispered that he’s gone mad.) Is it time to lower the lifeboats?

In the hazy realm that is reality these days, those metaphorical cracks in our ship’s hull represent grave acts of negligence and even treasonous sabotage. Chatter over the Internet says our country, and other countries, are fixing to surrender their national sovereignty — that is, their ability to decide things for themselves — to the World Health Organization in anticipation of some as-yet-unnamed global emergency. Surrender, you say? By means of what? A vote in UN? A memo from the White House signed by the howling ghost known as “Joe Biden”? Surely not some procedure in Congresses and parliaments that would call for debate.

There is further suggestion that all this mischief is at the behest of larval would-be World Fuhrer Klaus Schwab. A more preposterous idea I have not heard in all my born days. And yet what else accounts in country after country for the bizarre super-coordination of insults to the world population such as mass lockdowns and mandated vaccination with genetic cocktails which, let’s face it, don’t look so goshdarn salubrious anymore. Rain-man and amateur immunologist Bill Gates is imputed somewhere in the mix. He’s been promising the world new-and-improved pandemic viruses. The last one was kind of a flop, like Windows 10X (code-name: Santorini). Uh, why is this man still at large?

And how, exactly, do the likes of WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WEF founder and chief Professor Klaus Schwab, and world-beating do-good wizard Bill Gates propose to enforce their plans to seize leadership of the whole wide world in their hypothesized next crisis-to-come? Again, chatter on the Web suggests that the United Nations, these days a convocation of failed states and diseased backwaters, somehow marshals the developed nations’ armies against their own citizens. Sorry, but I just don’t see it. Are there three less charismatic characters in all world history than that above-named trio of human worms? What are they going to do to make Bill Gates look like a Leader-of-Men? Dress him in the raiment of a Napoleonic hussar: gold-frogged tunic, epaulets, leopard-skin cape, knee-high boots, and plumed bear-skin shako? Nigga, please….

Meanwhile, hardships-upon-hardships pile up at bewildering volume and speed in this-here federal consortium of states. No baby formula for you, non-aborted birthing persons of America! (And yet, what bureaucrat in which Deep State burrow organized a baby formula airlift to the Mexican border for the relief of foreign interlopers of the birthing persuasion?) Diesel fuel at $6.49-a-gallon, meaning pretty soon nobody will get anything (including more diesel fuel)… gasoline at $6, plus zero inventory of new cars (R.I.P. suburbia)… no parts for anything with broken parts… big holes in those supermarket shelves… fertilizer at ruinous prices… no water out west… after-effects of “vaccines” killing folks (including from the disease they were “vaccinated” against)… hordes of foreign nationals strolling across the southern border (not a few of them males of military age with perhaps not very wholesome intentions)… financial markets trending down and real estate vortexing… and the FBI / DOJ combo looking to bash down your door and stuff you in a dungeon with neither formal charges nor bail, in violation of the constitution that they now programmatically oppose.

What will avail in the face of these treacheries and hardships? Oppose. Refuse. Resist. This is getting personal. How many of you not fully entranced by media psy-ops are willing to just say “no, and no more”?

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

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* * *

THE INAUGURAL MENDOCINO CRAFT FARMERS AUCTION (MCFA) presented by the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance (MCA) and the Mendocino Producers Guild (MPG) will be held on July 16th in beautiful Mendocino County. This first-of-its-kind event will be hosted courtesy of Jim Roberts and Brian Adkinson of The Bohemian Chemist cannabis brand, who also own The Brambles, a lovely event venue in the heart of the redwoods in the picturesque Anderson Valley of southern Mendocino County.

MCFA is a charity auction, with proceeds going to support the invaluable resources made available within Mendocino County by Redwood Community Services Crisis Response. This is an opportunity for the cannabis community of Mendocino to give back to the broader community and the County, while at the same time raising consciousness about the high quality of the cannabis produced here and the incredible people who produce it.

Auction items will include rare opportunities such as visits and overnight stays at some of the top local cannabis producers farms, health and wellness experiences, fine dining and adventures in our world-famous wilderness. Other items offered will include locally made crafts, gift certificates from local businesses, farm products and more. Generous donors should not be surprised if their generosity is matched by growers who want to share from their Private Reserve for a truly unique and coveted experience!

The affair will start in the late afternoon when guests can explore items featured both on the silent and live auctions, sip local wines from Maple Creek Winery and sample some of the finest cannabis in the world, shared by Mendocino farmers. An elegant supper will follow catered by Chef Dan Hagopian of Sonoma Market. The Live Auction will kick off during dessert, to be followed by lively dancing under the stars and the redwoods with music provided by DJ Mo Magic, herself a small farmer from Covelo in northeastern Mendocino.

This is a great way for visitors to discover the eclectic wonders of Mendocino County. Accommodations will be available on site at the Brambles and their sister location, The Madrones, as well as in nearby hotels. Upon purchase of your ticket you will receive details about special discounts for those attending the event.

The Mendocino Craft Farmers Auction is a private event by invitation only, with attendance limited to 150. Tickets are $200 each and will be tax deductible. Interested guests and sponsors should contact nikkijturtle@gmail.com for details. There are limited tickets available for this special event to meet the farmers, contribute to a worthy cause, and to be part of a memorable gathering in Mendocino County.

For ticketing, sponsorship, donations and event information contact nikkijiturtle@gmail.com.

* * *

HAD TO DO THIS since everything is upside down today! 

85 years ago on May 12, 1937, George Carlin was born in Manhattan. In the 1970s, he underwent a professional makeover going from clean cut to someone who represented American counter-culture. In 1972, he began performing his most well-known monologue “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” that got him arrested (pictured) and was the centerpiece of the 1978 Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation which affirmed the government's authority to censor material on public airwaves. His 50-year career generated 23 albums, 14 HBO specials, 130 Tonight Show appearances and three books. Here are a few quotes (without any dirty words) in honor of the occasion:

• I think I am, therefore, I am … I think.

• Isn’t making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool?

• I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, ‘Where’s the self-help section?’ She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

• What if there were no hypothetical questions?

• Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

• If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

• When I ask how old your toddler is, I don’t need to hear ’27 months.’ ‘He’s 2’ will do just fine. He’s not a cheese. And I didn’t really care in the first place.

• If the black box flight recorder is never damaged during a plane crash, why isn’t the whole airplane made out of that stuff?

• Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

• Some people see things that are and ask, ‘Why?’ Some people dream of things that never were and ask, ‘Why not?’ Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that.

• Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.

• ‘Bipartisan’ usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.

• Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.

• Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.

• I have as much authority as the Pope. I just don’t have as many people who believe it.

• One can never know for sure what a deserted area can look like.

• When you step on the brakes, your life is in your foot’s hands.

• Some people have no idea what they’re doing, and a lot of them are really good at it.

George Carlin died on June 28, 2008 in Santa Monica, CA. He was 71 years old.

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Greetings,

I’m already adrift in my lifeboat but not everyone can see it just yet.

For the first time in two years, I was able to meet with my sisters. Both are in the professional class. We were sitting around talking and I made reference to how the Easter Bunny was in control of the free world and they looked at me as they often do like I was the craziest person on Earth.

I said that I was not crazy and that I could prove the Easter Bunny was in charge of the White House and the Free World and then I showed them the video of our new disinformation czar dressed as the Easter Bunny hustling the president away and not allowing him to answer questions.

I followed that video up with the one of Biden shaking hands with a ghost followed by his most famous story of all – Corn Pop.

I asked my sisters how it was possible that such things could be happening and that they, highly educated women, could be entirely unaware. “What else are you unaware of?” I asked.

* * *

* * *

ANIMAL FUND FOR MENDOCINO COUNTY

Giving Back VOL. 2 ISSUE 9 | MAY 2022 Caring for Our Furry Family: New Funds for Animal Welfare by Megan Barber Allende, CEO, Mendocino Community Foundation When your dog greets you at the door at the end of a long day, or your cat curls up in your lap (or on your newspaper) when sipping your tea, it creates a sense of wellbeing and connection. So many of us have furry family members that share in the love and joy of our lives, but not everyone has the means to care for and keep their pets. When Clifford Saake found a stray cat roaming his neighborhood, he decided to make her part of his family and reached out to Julie Knudsen at the Mendocino Spay-Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) for help in getting his newly adopted feline spayed. This began a friendship that now leaves a legacy to care for Mendocino County animals in perpetuity through the Fund for Animal Welfare. Saake grew up in the Bay Area but moved to Ukiah after retiring from the General Services Office in San Francisco. He never married or had children but cared deeply for his pet birds and cats. After adopting Sylvia, his beloved stray cat, he shared with Knudsen his desire to leave his estate to a handful of small animal care organizations. 

“I told him that’s great,” said Knudsen. “Except these organizations often rely on a single person; if you want to make a difference, you can give to the Community Foundation and know it will support animals forever regardless of who is in charge at any given time.” “Cliff asked me if the Foundation would take a fee,” explains Knudsen. “I said, of course, they will. That’s your insurance to know they will always use your funds how you want them to. Even if the animal rescue organizations of today close down or new ones open up in ten years, the Foundation will always take care of the animals of Mendocino County. They will also invest the money, so it will always be there for what you want to support.” It took a shift in mindset for Saake. Still, he came to find that the investment would ensure organizations such as SNAP, the Humane Society, and others that care for animals in our community would have the funding they need for the long term. Through Saake’s investment, the Fund for Animal Welfare was established. Having an established Fund for Animal Welfare inspires others who care about animals to join in ensuring animal welfare in the future. 

When Char Jacobs and Randy Wood approached the Community Foundation with a desire to support veterinary care for homeless and low-income animals, they were able to establish a sub-fund for this exact purpose. “I’ve been volunteering with the Surgery Team at Ukiah Animal Care Services and the Care-a-Van for several years,” said Jacobs. “I have become aware of the many wonderful organizations and services for animals in Mendocino County. I’ve also identified a gap in services in Inland Mendocino County and hope to help fill this gap. When I see a homeless person walking with a limping dog in Ukiah, or I hear about a cat needing surgery, but the owner can’t afford it, I want to help make funds available for their veterinary care.” Jacobs and Wood chose to donate this year to establish the Jacobs-Wood Animal Care Fund to provide veterinary care for this population. 

“We invite other animal lovers in inland Mendocino to donate to this fund,” said Jacobs. “We will also be directing a planned gift in our trust similar to Cliff.” Through the generosity of these donors and others, we are looking forward to launching a special animal welfare grant program in the coming year as part of our field-of-interest program to provide grants for spaying and neutering, domestic animal welfare, and wildlife rescue in Mendocino County. Details will become available after we engage with local organizations to better understand their needs and those of the animals they serve. Animals enrich our lives every day, and now with the Fund for Animal Welfare and Jacobs-Wood Animal Care Fund, the organizations that care for pets and wildlife in our community will have access to financial support in perpetuity to continue their good work. 

To donate: Fund for Animal Welfare Jacobs-Wood Animal Care Fun: communityfound.org/uncategorized/caring-for-our-furry-family-new-funds-for-animal-welfare/

* * *

JOE LOUIS & JACKIE ROBINSON

In this photo the legendary number “42” and the “Brown Bomber” are pictured in 1942 during their time serving our country. Robinson was drafted and sent to Fort Riley for basic training. During Robinson's time at Fort Riley he passed all the requirements and applied for Officer Candidate School. Robinson along with several other African-American candidates' applications were dismissed due to their race. Louis used his popularity to campaign on behalf of Robinson and other prospective officers. As a result, the candidates were granted acceptance into the program due largely to Louis's efforts. 

* * *

IN THE FACE OF DESPAIR 

by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

America is calling us.

I can feel the dread, the despair, the fear, the anguish, and the yearning. I hear it in questions I get from family and friends. I read it in the comments posted here and elsewhere online. And I have been around long enough to sense it in the tenor and trembles of our fraught moment. If doomscrolling were an Olympic sport, many of us would be festooned with gold.

This is an age of deep and warranted anxiety. Threats to the stability upon which many of us have constructed our lives — and perhaps even more troubling, our expectations — are crescendoing with a cacophony of distress.

There will always be the challenges that upend our hopes and dreams at the individual level: the illnesses, accidents, and myriad other personal and professional disappointments. But this is something different. This is a chaotic world that feels like it is flooding in from multiple fissures in the foundation of our society. It can be measured in pandemic deaths, rising global temperatures, persistent injustice, and here in the United States, a country unmoored from what many of us saw as a fitful but ultimately reliable path toward progress. There was once widespread belief that an entrenched commitment to American democracy, as imperfect as that may have been, was nonetheless a system capable of rejuvenation. That now feels like a bet on the future that is no longer assured.

Any cataloging of our present challenges must not be built on a misreading of the past. Our country's story contains countless chapters of pain, particularly for the most marginalized and afflicted among us. To yearn for a simpler time or some mythical history is to minimize the struggle and sacrifice that have always undergirded our national journey. For much of this struggle, the structural impediments to progress lay in the majority, and certainly in the majority of who was allowed to vote.

What I feel is so different this time is that we seem to be at a point when there is majority consensus in America on broad issues from abortion rights, to recognition of racial injustice, to LGBTQ+ rights, to a more equitable tax system, to even many contentious subjects like gun control and our climate crisis. In a more narrow political framing, this majority viewpoint is illustrated in the remarkable fact that Democratic candidates for president have won the popular vote in every election but one since 1988! And yet the courts — especially the Supreme Court — are stacked with far-right activist judges hellbent on blowing up a social order upon which most Americans have come to rely. Imbalances in our federal system give undue influence to red states in the Senate. And partisan gerrymandering has turned states and congressional districts that should be competitive into a pale shadow of a healthy democracy. Add to all this the immutable truth that it is always easier to destruct or obstruct than to construct, and you can see that reactionary forces have hijacked many of the functions of government — using lies and the privileges of power — to embolden their crusade against progress.

None of this is a surprise to most of you who could fill out the broad outline of dysfunction I have sketched above with the distressing details that litter our news cycles. Identifying our problems is not the problem. They probably play in some form of a loop in your thoughts, are echoed in what you read and see, and dominate your discussions with others. What you are thinking, feeling, and seeing is real. And it is felt by millions of Americans and millions more around the world.

In the face of all of this, one cannot help but wonder whether there is any reason for hope. I wish I could tell you that everything will certainly turn out fine. But to do so would be an insult to your intelligence. We should not be Pollyannaish about the depths or severity of the challenges. We should not take anything for granted. Solving problems has never been a passive activity.

And yet...

We should not forget that throughout the course of human history, including in recent times, seemingly insurmountable challenges have been conquered. Long odds have been overcome. The human experience is full of not only tragedy but inspiration. There have been many instances in which the prospects of success were far more daunting than they are now.

In our current times, one cannot help but find hope in the fierce fight for democracy being waged by Ukraine and their heroic stand against the Russian military. Almost no one outside of the country itself expected that their nation would survive the onslaught from one of the world’s most vaunted militaries. But there have been incredible resolve and bravery and no capitulation. Their fight has inspired support from the countries of Europe and beyond. Yet the battle for freedom has also come at a horrific cost to the Ukrainian people — soldier and civilian alike.

While we use the language of warfare to describe our political battles in the United States, thankfully we are not facing anywhere near this level of bloodshed — although the evidence of the insurrection and the heated rhetoric of our political discourse do portend the possibility of further violence. What also makes our situation different is that we are at odds with ourselves. We are fighting not for the survival of the United States in the face of foreign aggression but the survival of a concept of what this country means to those of us who inhabit it. The unity of Ukraine stands in stark contrast to the severed bonds of our national community.

As I noted above, what makes America’s struggles so frustrating is that there is a fundamental structural imbalance between majority viewpoints (what should hold sway in a democracy) and minority power. If Congress and the courts truly represented the will of the American people, we would be a different country. In the end, however, I just don’t believe that this dynamic is sustainable over the long term. Just think about it: No major corporation would publicly take the culture war stances of the modern Republican Party. Look at the example of Disney in Florida. At some point, all this performative outrage is so out of step with the necessities of running a nation that it cannot endure. The fundamental imbalance of our country will cause ever greater strain.

As the lesson in Ukraine makes all too clear, the battle against the forces of autocracy will be difficult. We know that if Roe is overturned, people will die, and lives will be upended. We can see a rise in state laws driven by bigotry. The damage will fall more fully on marginalized members of our society, and that will also cause great pain. These are outcomes the immediate future holds in store.

But ultimately, I think that the chances of victory for progress outweigh the chances of defeat. Those who are trying to push this nation backward are not only on the wrong side — they’re on the wrong side of the future. Look at the beliefs of the younger generations of Americans on all these issues. Look at how young people think around the world. Look at where the dominant cultural forces are. We should not underestimate the strength we have to push back against this march of destruction. The forces who want to upend the world order and our own democracy weaponize despair. Hopelessness fuels their ends.

When we created this Steady publication, we had no way of knowing the specifics of the challenges we would face. I chose the name Steady because it has been a mantra of mine since childhood. I hold onto the word and notion so dearly because I know that steadiness can be elusive. I feel that keenly as well, especially now. But I also know that it can yield the strength that is needed to not quit, to keep going, to understand that the future will unfold in ways that are completely unpredictable. And yet in that uncertainty lies an opportunity — I would call it a duty — to step into the fight and do our part to shape our destiny along a framework of hope.

America is calling us. Do we have the courage, will we take the time and make the effort to answer?

* * *

* * *

CROW’S A GOOD DUDE

Dear AVA,

I am happy to hear that Alan Crow, aka “Sunny Crow,” is still alive. I heard rumors that he passed away while in Oregon last year. Thankfully this is not true. Apparently Mr. Crow is housed somewhere here in the county jail.

So a shout out to you Mr. Sunny Crow for the way you treated my wife and 10-year-old daughter back in 2020. You picked them up while my wife was hitchhiking in Lucerne with our daughter. You paid for a motel for two weeks and bought my wife and daughter $300 worth of food. For two weeks you drove my daughter to school and paid for her school lunches. My daughter “Emily” still asks about you and misses you.

Your kindness and respect meant a lot to them and to me. Especially in a county full of weirdos and predators.

So thanks bro for being a good dude to my family while I was in prison for what it's worth. I hope you're doing okay and your situation isn't too dire.

All my best, from Vicky, Emily and me, 

Jonathan Young

Mendocino County Jail

Ukiah

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PRAISE FOR KITTY

Editor,

We live in a topsy-turvy world nowadays. Like in the old westerns. The townspeople are all behind the gunslinger when they want evil out of town. After the gunslinger does the job those same vigilantes forget about him and often turned on him next! You can even check a Bible passage that explains this. Read Ecclesiastes Chapter 9 verses 14 and 15.

I noticed some nutcase from Monte Rio of all places wrote a rather mind-boggling article with mostly queer admiration for Judge Keith Faulder. I have no clue what that was about, but what caught my attention is what was written about our famous ex-deputy district attorney Katherine “Kitty” Houston. Some criticism of her “argument” with former Judge Ron Brown, may he rest in peace. I knew Ron very well and I know Kitty. How was that even a vague argument? In my opinion Kitty has twice the IQ that Mr. Brown ever dreamed of. The Monte Rio writer (possible male chauvinist) was evidently angry because Kitty in fact won the argument as she was prone to do. If she was still running the District Attorney's Office I certainly wouldn't be in this predicament. In fact, I attempted to get her as my lawyer.

I also used to kind of enjoy ex-correctional Deputy John Sakowicz's journalism until he wrote other queer praise our John “Greasy Thumb” McCowen. Doesn't John Sakowicz realize that even though Eyster is very sneaky, McCowen is worse. It's obvious to me what McCowen was trying to prove by stealing all the county keys: “Look you stupid taxpayers and voters, I'm a thief and there is nothing you can do about it!” 

Well, both Eyster and McCowen will stand before God on judgment day. It must be getting time for the vigilante Ukiah voters to start goose-stepping to the polls yelling “Heil Eyster.”

I am happy that one way or another I'll be finally getting clear of this Nazi regime zone.

Sincerely,

David ‘Detective Youngcault, River Crow Nation’ Giusti

Mendocino County Jail

Ukiah

PS. I really enjoyed Tommy Wayne Kramer's article on the plight of the homeless.

ED NOTE: McCowen didn't steal anything, Dave. He was slandered by CEO Angelo and Supervisor Williams.

* * *

* * *

JESUS, ENDLESS WAR, AND THE RISE OF AMERICAN FASCISM

The Democratic Party is hoping to thwart an election rout by running against the expected Supreme Court decision on abortion. This is depressingly all that is left of its political capital.

by Chris Hedges

The Democratic Party – which had 50 years to write Roe v Wade into law with Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama in full control of the White House and Congress at the inception of their presidencies – is banking its electoral strategy around the expected Supreme Court decision to lift the judicial prohibition on the ability of states to enact laws restricting or banning abortions.

I doubt it will work.

The Democratic Party’s hypocrisy and duplicity is the fertilizer for Christian fascism. Its exclusive focus on the culture wars and identity politics at the expense of economic, political, and social justice fueled a right-wing backlash and stoked the bigotry, racism, and sexism it sought to curtail. Its opting for image over substance, including its repeated failure to secure the right to abortion, left the Democrats distrusted and reviled.

The Biden administration invited Amazon Labor Union president Christian Smalls and union workers from Starbucks and other organizations to the White House at the same time it re-awarded a $10 billion contract to the union-busting Amazon and the National Security Agency (NSA) for cloud computing. The NSA contract is one of 26 federal cloud computing contracts Amazon has with the U.S. Army and Air Force, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Interior, and the Census Bureau. Withholding the federal contracts until Amazon permitted free and open union organizing would be a powerful stand on behalf of workers, still waiting for the $15 minimum wage Joe Biden promised as a candidate. But behind the walls of the Democratic Party’s Potemkin village stands the billionaire class. Democrats have failed to address the structural injustices that turned America into an oligarchic state, where the obscenely rich squabble like children in a sandbox over multibillion-dollar toys. The longer this game of political theater continues, the worse things will get.

The Christian fascists have coalesced in cult-like fashion around Donald Trump. They are bankrolled by the most retrograde forces of capitalism. The capitalists permit the stupidities of the Christian fascists and their self-destructive social and cultural wars. In exchange, the billionaire class gets corporate monopolies, union busting, privatized state, and municipal services, including public education, revoked government regulations, especially environmental regulation, and can engage in a virtual tax boycott.

The war industry loves the Christian fascists who turn every conflict from Iraq to Ukraine into a holy crusade to crush the latest iteration of Satan. The Christian fascists believe military power, and the “manly” virtues that come with it, are blessed by God, Jesus, and the Virgin Mary. No military budget is too big. No war waged by America is evil.

These Christian fascists make up perhaps 30 percent of the electorate, roughly equivalent to the percentage of Americans who believe abortion is murder. They are organized, committed to a vision, however perverse, and awash in money. John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, mediocre jurists and Federalist Society ideologues who carry the banner of Christian fascism, control the Supreme Court.

Establishment Republicans and Democrats, like George Armstrong Custer on Last Stand Hill, have circled the wagons around the Democratic Party in a desperate bid to prevent Trump, or a Trump mini-me, from returning to the White House. They, and their allies in Silicon Valley, are using algorithms and overt de-platforming to censor critics from the left and the right, foolishly turning figures like Trump, Alex Jones, and Marjorie Taylor Greene into martyrs. This is not a battle over democracy, but the spoils of power waged by billionaires against billionaires. No one intends to dismantle the corporate state.

The ruling class in both parties told lies about NAFTA, trade deals, “reforming” welfare, abolishing financial regulations, austerity, the Iraq war, and neoliberalism that did far more damage to the American public than any lie told by Trump. The reptilian slime oozes out of every pore of these politicians, from Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to Biden, who backed the 1976 Hyde Amendment banning federal funding of abortions and in 1982 voted to support a constitutional amendment that would allow states to overturn Roe v Wade. Their hypocrisy is not lost on the public, even with their armies of consultants, pollsters, courtiers in the press, public relations teams and advertising agencies.

Marjorie Taylor Greene is clueless and unhinged. She claims Hillary Clinton was involved in a child mutilation and a pedophilia ring and several high-profile school shootings were staged. But weaponized, like Trump, she is a political cruise missile aimed straight at the heart of the discredited centers of traditional power.

Hate is the fuel of American politics. No one votes for who they want. They vote against those they hate. Black and brown marginal communities have suffered worse assaults than the white working class, but they have been defanged politically with militarized police that function as internal armies of occupation. The erosion of due process, the world’s largest prison system and the stripping away of all rights, including often voting rights because of felony convictions, as well as a loss of access to most social services and jobs, reduced them to a subsistence level on the lowest rung of America’s caste system. They are also the primary targets of Republican-sponsored voter suppression and redistricting.

The glue holding this Christianized fascism together is not prayer, although we will get a lot of that, but war. War is the raison d'être of all systems of totalitarianism. War justifies a constant search for internal enemies. It is used to revoke basic civil liberties and impose censorship. War demonizes those in the Middle East, Russia, or China, who are blamed for the economic and social debacles that inevitably get worse. War diverts the rage engendered by a dysfunctional state towards immigrants, people of color, feminists, liberals, artists, anyone who does not identify as a heterosexual, the press, antifa, Jews, Muslims, Russians, or Asians. Take your pick. It is a bigot’s smorgasbord. Every item on the menu is fair game.

I spent two years with the Christian right reporting and researching my book American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. These Christian fascists have never hidden their agenda or their desire to create a “Christian” nation, any more than Adolf Hitler hid his demented vision for Germany in Mein Kampf. They prey, like all fascists, on the despair of their followers. They paint gruesome portraits of the end times when the longed-for obliteration of non-believers presages the glorious return of Jesus Christ. The battle at Armageddon, they believe, will be launched from the Antichrist’s worldwide headquarters in Babylon once the Jews again have control of Israel. The closer we get to Armageddon, the giddier they become.

These people believe this stuff, as they believe in QAnon or the election fraud that supposedly put Biden in office. They are convinced that a demonic, secular-humanist ideology propagated by the media, the United Nations, elite universities, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood, the Trilateral Commission along with the US State Department and major foundations are seeking to destroy them.

Violence is embraced as a cleansing agent, a key component of any fascist movement. The Christian fascists do not fear nuclear war. They welcome it. The insane provocations of Russia by the Biden administration, including the decision to provide $33 billion in assistance to Ukraine, target ten Russian generals for assassination and pass on to Ukraine the intelligence to sink the Moskva, the guided missile cruiser that was the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet, supercharges the ideology of the Christian right. The marriage of the war industry, determined to make war forever, with the Christian fascists yearning for the apocalypse is terrifying. Biden is sleepwalking us into a war with Russia and perhaps China. The Christian fascists will accelerate the bloodlust.

The political deformities we have spawned are not unique. They are the product of a society and government that no longer functions on behalf of the citizenry, one that has been seized by a tiny cabal, in our case corporate, to serve its exclusive interests. The airy promises politicians make, including the announcement by candidate Barack Obama that the first thing he would do in office was sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which during his eight years as president he never got around to doing, are worthless. The scheduled vote next week in the Senate on a bill asserting that abortions are legal in the United States, which is expected to be blocked by the Republican’s use of the filibuster, a Senate procedural rule that requires 60 votes to advance most legislation in the 100-member chamber, is another empty gesture.

We saw the consequences of this dysfunction in Weimar Germany and Yugoslavia, a conflict I covered for The New York Times. Political stagnation and economic misery breeds rage, despair, and cynicism. It gives rise to demagogues, charlatans, and con artists. Hatred drives political discourse. Violence is the primary form of communication. Vengeance is the highest good. War is the chief occupation of the state. It is the vulnerable and weak who pay.

(chrishedges.substack.com)

* * *

Union Lumber Mill, Fort Bragg, 1933

* * *

MEMO OF THE AIR

Good Night Radio live from Franklin St. all night Friday night!

Marco here. Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is about 5:30pm. Or send it whenever it's done and I'll read it on the radio next week.

Plus you can phone during the show and read your work in your own voice. I'll be in the clean, well-lighted back room of KNYO's storefront studio at 325 N. Franklin, where the number is 1-(707) 962-3022. If you swear like David Mamet, wait until after 10pm, so not to agitate the weasels.

Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as anywhere else via http://airtime.knyo.org:8040/128

(That's the regular link to listen to KNYO in real time.)

Any day or night you can go to https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com and hear last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night the recording of tonight's show will also be there.

Besides all that, there you'll find a tubful of delightful educational brainworms to rest for a moment and writhe and wriggle about in until showtime, or anytime, such as:

A visual representation of so-called astrological retrograde planetary motion. No planet is ever turning and going backward. It just looks like it does when we're stuck on this rock, which we are, so far, because people who believe in angels (and witches and numerology and so on) fill their children with delusions, leaving no room in their brains to contribute to progress. (Not drawn to scale.)

https://twitter.com/pickover/status/1524900623858257930

John Burroughs High School Choir performs /Bioshock: The Musical/.

https://theawesomer.com/bioshock-the-high-school-musical/666050/

And respect mah authoritah.

https://thenib.com/courting-disaster/

— Marco McClean, memo@mcn.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com

* * *

WHEN YOU'RE OLD & DESTITUTE LIVING IN A SHELTER…

The View from Here on Friday the 13th

Still at Building Bridges homeless shelter in Ukiah, bottom lining the trash & recycling in order to make the place a bit nicer. In the midst of the near impossibility to get a second dental appointment from the Hillside Dental Clinic (which sent me to their Willits location for the first appointment), a tooth broke two nights ago eating a granola bar! There was probably a cavity involved. However, I spoke with the individual in charge of booking appointments, and he said that my chances for getting a second appointment in this lifetime were better due to the broken tooth problem. (This is in addition to needing the deep cleaning, and a cavity filled in the rear molar on the right side). Am using this dental practice because they take the California State Partnership Plan and the $280 first appointment, in which they took a couple of basic xrays and the dentist saw me for 15 minutes to measure gum and teeth spacings, only cost cash $60. But, getting a second appointment to get the cleaning done can be a long wait. Welcome to The People's Dental Services in Mendocino county.

Otherwise, I am identified with “that which is prior to consciousness”, am available for anything on the planet earth, and am doing nothing particularly in Mendocino county, California. 

Do I really need to further explain my longtime condemnation of postmodernism? 

Craig Louis Stehr

* * *

Electric Age Exposition, Los Angeles, 1936

* * *

THE BIZARRE, UNANIMOUS DEM SUPPORT FOR THE $40B WAR PACKAGE to Raytheon and CIA: "For Ukraine"

After Joe Biden announced his extraordinary request for $33 billion more for the war in Ukraine — on top of the $14 billion the U.S. has already spent just ten weeks into this war — congressional leaders of both parties immediately decided the amount was insufficient. They arbitrarily increased the amount by $7 billion to a total of $40 billion, then fast-tracked the bill for immediate approval. As we reported on Tuesday night, the House overwhelmingly voted to approve the bill by a vote of 388-57. All fifty-seven NO votes came from Republican House members. Except for two missing members, all House Democrats — every last one, including all six members of the revolutionary, subversive Squad — voted for this gigantic war package, one of the largest the U.S. has spent at once in decades.

While a small portion of these funds will go to humanitarian aid for Ukraine, the vast majority will go into the coffers of weapons manufacturers such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and the usual suspects. Some of it will go to the CIA for unspecified reasons. The extreme speed with which this was all approved means there is little to no oversight over how the funds will be spent, who will profit and how much, and what the effects will be for Ukraine and the world. 

To put this $54 billion amount in perspective, it is (a) larger than the average annual amount that the U.S. spent on its own war in Afghanistan ($46 billion), (b) close to the overall amount Russia spends on its entire military for the year ($69 billion), (c) close to 7% of the overall U.S. military budget, by far the largest in the world ($778 billion), and (d) certain to be far, far higher — easily into the hundreds of billions of dollars and likely the trillion dollar level — given that U.S. officials insist that this war will last not months but years, and that it will stand with Ukraine until the bitter end.…

greenwald.substack.com/p/the-bizarre-unanimous-dem-support-426

* * *

THE CHRIS HEDGES REPORT: Ukraine and the resurgence of American militarism

7 Comments

  1. Marmon May 14, 2022

    “Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

    -George Orwell

    Marmon

    • George Dorner May 14, 2022

      Alas, oftimes they do not listen.

    • Bruce Anderson May 14, 2022

      Actually, Jim, Orwell said a version of this misquote as he pointed out that the test of free speech is the freedom to tell people what they don’t want to hear, by which standard we have free speech in America, not that people generally hear or read speech they don’t want to hear.

  2. George Hollister May 14, 2022

    The cry that these are the end of times is older than history. And when those who are making that cry get power, then the times do get ugly.

  3. George Dorner May 14, 2022

    Actually, Mr. Arteaga, I have previously proposed the same plan for the new courthouse on several occasions in this very paper. So now, there are two of us….

    • Bruce Anderson May 14, 2022

      Count me in, too.

  4. Gary Smith May 14, 2022

    “Many other passengers have retreated to their staterooms, sick from the “vaccines” they were required to take to stay on-board for the voyage.”
    What is Kunstler on about here? I had not heard this. Anybody have any documentation of this?

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