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Off the Record (May 25, 2022)

NEWS FROM UKRAINE tends to be either over-covered or under-covered. The over-covered news may be true but is usually selective and I find it impossible to tell if some skirmish is typical or atypical of the way the war is going. Does a Ukrainian success here or a Russian retreat mean one side or the other is winning or is there a stalemate?

Crucial news about the war is often lacking – such as what the Russian security elite are thinking about Putin’s performance as a war leader – simply because reliable information is difficult to obtain. But some important facts about the war are concealed simply because they are lost in the great torrent of information that pours out of Ukraine and its neighbors. Nobody has the time and patience to sample it all and detect the nuggets amid the repetitious and the dross. This article and this article could not be more public in one sense since they appeared in the New York Times and contain original reportage and analysis, but I wonder how many people read them? — Patrick Cockburn

MOST INTERESTING, and telling, endorsement of the entire campaign for Superintendent of Schools is that of Glenn McGourty, 1st District supervisor, who has endorsed incumbent, Michelle Hutchins. Mr. and Mrs. McGourty have served as trustees of the Ukiah School District. So, if a former Ukiah trustee endorses incumbent Superintendent Hutchins over the candidacy of one of the Ukiah district's many administrators, that endorsement is doubly important for Hutchins because it comes from a couple who know from the inside the suitability of Ukiah's candidate, Ms. Glentzer.

JOHN MCCOWEN: Michelle Hutchins was very much the outsider when she was elected Superintendent four years ago. So it's not surprising that her challenger has lined up insider support. The challenger's campaign seems to be based mainly on vague allegations that the incumbent is a bad person doing a bad job. But where are the specifics and why are we only hearing about these so-called problems now? I'm voting to re-elect Michelle Hutchins because I have not heard any credible reason not to support her.”

I TRY to keep up with the latest in American fascism but I confess I've got a lot of catching up to do because I can only listen to their main people a few minutes at a time. It's impossible, at least for me, to watch Hannity without wanting to punch him in his fat, smug face. So I compensate by doing a bunch of extra push-ups to purge the violent feeling that overcomes me at the sight and sound of Hannity or Tucker Carlson or any of the Fox News line-up. So I wasn't aware of The Great Replacement theory the fascisti are pushing these days. Carlson defined it for me. He said that current U.S. border policy is “designed to change the racial mix of the country. In political terms this policy is called the ‘great replacement,’ the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from faraway countries.” Carlson says that Biden’s policies with regard to the Haitian migrants especially have put the U.S. on a “suicidal” path. In other words, brown immigrants are bad enough but black immigrants are unthinkable.

IN FACT, Biden, insofar as he's aware of what his rudderless administration is doing in any policy area, has sent most of the poor bastards back to the failed state of Haiti. But I laughed at Carlson's reference to “legacy Americans,” i.e., white Americans, as somehow imperiled by darker immigrants while young people of all races by the millions presently marry outside their race, which has happened on a fairly large scale right here in the Anderson Valley as legacy Americans marry second generation Mexican immigrants. On the off-chance the human race survives long-term there won't be legacy Americans, only Americans, and better-looking Anericans, too.

MENDOCINO SPRING POETRY 

Submissions due Friday, May 20

47th Anniversary; 17th consecutive Revival

Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration 2022

Here’s Dan Roberts, awaiting your contribution to this year’s open reading. Submission window closing FRIDAY MAY 20.

Record up to four minutes of your best and send it to OutFarPress@Saber.Net. Use your smartphone, or enlist a friend.

For the third year of the health ceremonials, Dan’s radio broadcast RhythmRunningRiver has been the platform for the Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration, on KZYX, Mendocino County Public Broadcasting. Beginning JUNE 5, Dan will be matching your poems with the rhythms of World Music. Join the Celebration!

For kindly conducive info including tech advice: OutFarPress.com/poetry. Or email me, gblack@mcn.org.

Pursue your Muse! Dan Roberts will happily accept your poems between now and Friday.

Gordon Black

THE ABOVE PHOTO was snapped last week in Danville, a deeply white suburb of San Francisco. The masked yobbos equate the racist Buffalo attack with an Illinois mass murder committed by a crazy black guy who was just aiming his vehicle at people, whoever they were. It's not like Poor Old Joe's handlers shuffled him off to Buffalo because the victims were black, but because the perp, an 18-year-old white kid poisoned by the internet, carried out an attack aimed specifically at black people. The irony underlying the media's saturation race-talk is that race relations in this country have never been better. Where, in 1960, say, there were virtually no white relationships with black people there are now literal millions of loyal, affectionate cross-racial friendships between people of all races. Racial harmony is one area of American life where we've actually made some headway.

THE BEST BOOK since Marc Reisner's seminal “Cadillac Desert” has appeared, and Bev Dutra I am in your debt for drawing my attention to “The Dreamt Land — Chasing Water and Dust Across California” by Mark Arax. Can a book about water catastrophes in the Central Valley be a page turner? Yes, this one is absolutely riveting and contains a whole lot of historical anecdotes about California that this, ahem, avid reader of the Golden State's back story, did not know. If you read one book this year, you won't go wrong with this one. 

ERIC SWALWELL, a hustling congressman from the East Bay adept at keeping himself in the news for no real reason, came out with this implausible attention-getter last week when he called for a swift gun control response to the racially motivated mass shooting in Buffalo because, he claimed, his 4-year-old was asking him questions about the attack. “My 4-year-old just FaceTimed to ask what I’m doing to ‘help the people in Buffalo’ and ‘why did the bad man do this?’ Absolutely gutting. This cannot be his normal. It’s time to BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS. #EndGunViolence,” the Livermore Democrat tweeted.

THE KID'S already on electronics? Anyway, the child was allegedly watching CNN, and likely the only four-year-old in the world to take an interest in national affairs. Trying hard to be fair to a guy who deeply irritates me, I suppose it's possible Swalwell's child caught a portion of the sad news from Buffalo, which is the kind of event that would grab the attention of four-year-olds of whatever age, which is why responsible parents keep little kids away from television except for Sesame Street or other age-appropriate visuals. Best of all, keep the tykes away from TV. Period. Force them as youngsters to books for entertainment, which will pay educational dividends and strengthen the fledgling consumers against the violent chaos of the world they'll be stepping into.

SPEAKING of our nation's future, I was surprised to see a couple of little girls, 8 or 9 I guessed, riding their bicycles, unsupervised, near the Co-Op in Ukiah. But why should the sight of unsupervised children riding past on their bikes be surprising? Because it's a sight seldom seen anymore. Better yet, the two girls weren't padded and helmeted, totally free as children should be of adult fears that they will be somehow harmed. My theory, relayed here to you absolutely without obligation, is that children neurotically cosseted in their formative years, tend to indulge in extremely dangerous behavior as soon as they're away from adult supervision.

UKIAH'S most exciting attorney (since the death of long-time defense attorney Bert Schlosser), Doug Losak, pled no contest to misdemeanor hit&run with property damage on May 5th for an incident in Ukiah last November. Losak somehow sideswiped the travel trailer of a deaf couple visiting from Wisconsin as the couple was pulling out of the In&Out Burger, Ukiah. Losak, apparently oblivious, drove on. The couple identified Losak's vehicle and the CHP figured out the errant motorist as Losak and arrested him. Losak was sentenced to a year of probation and restitution. The CHP noted that Losak may have been drinking at the time, but due to the passage of time there was no way to measure it.

READERS may recall that back in 2012, as Interim Mendocino County Counsel, Losak was arrested in the wee hours for marijuana possession and carrying an unpermitted concealed weapon. He pled no contest to that one, but earned the sobriquet Doug ‘The Midnight Rambler’ Losak. Soon after that he resigned as Interim County Counsel and has since been working as a staff attorney for Duncan James law office in Ukiah. Losak, in our opinion, did an excellent job when he functioned as County Counsel, an office before and since widely regarded as a nest of incompetents. Losak challenged a lot of bogus claims that other CC's simply pay the minimum five grand to save themselves the work.

WE RECEIVED this jubilant message this morning: “Mendo Sheriff Lieutenant’s Son arrested for child pornography. Cover ups continue.” First off, there has been no cover-up, but there has been a lengthy out-of-county investigation because it has involved a complicated technical effort to track down the address of the computer and the person using that computer on which vile images have indeed been discovered. Lt. Comer, of the Sheriff's Department, has the alleged sins of his son visited upon him, and the young Comer has been charged but has yet to answer to the charges. Lots of local cop-bashers seem to be hoping that the senior Comer is the guilty party.

THE YOUNG MR. COMER is being represented by well known Sonoma County criminal defense attorney Chris Andrian, who is also representing former Ukiah Police Sergeant Kevin Murray on his drug and sexual misconduct charges.

WHEN CHILD PORNOGRAPHY first became a public issue, it seemed to me the logical regression from the ordinary pornography plauging the internet, and further evidence of a society in steep, rapid decline. I say that all pornography should be banned as it was in the days before America lost its way, that America would be much less violent, a much less nutso country if millions of male voyeurs did not spend hours every day on the internet watching films of other people having commercial sexual relations, and verily, verily every time Rev Anderson says that a bunch of people write in to say the Rev is recommending censorship. Yup. I am. Any society has the right to protect itself against evil. And can anything be more evil than the sexual exploitation of children short of murdering them?

THE BIDEN ADMIN'S really, really dumb idea, and the crazy woman they put in charge of it, is going, going, gone. The Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board is being shut down, according to The Washington Post. The board’s stated goal was to help combat the spread of “harmful disinformation,” which the fascists accurately described as an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth.” The board had no enforcement powers and no authority to police individual speech, but with crackpot “disinformation expert” Nina Jankowicz in charge, well, chalk up another blunder for whomever's calling Biden's tune. 

IRONIC that adults have to be re-instructed in the basics of proper nutrition and exercise. And worse than ironic that the mentally ill are loaded up on liver-destroying drugs when the less crazy among them, and your average neurotic-on-drugs, could be “cured” by an hour of vigorous movement every day. Ever wonder why there's much less mental illness in third world countries? Physical activity and 1500 calories a day, that’s why.

MENDOCINO WOMEN’S POLITICAL CAUCUS ENDORSEMENTS

BILL MAHER has nicely summed up the gender bender fad, declaring that granting children's request for puberty blockers and genital surgery makes them part of a culture war they shouldn't be a part of. “Never forget childen are impressionable and very, very stupid,” Maher said. “A boy who thinks he's a girl maybe is just gay — or whatever [the television character] ‘Frasier’ was. “And maybe, if life makes you sad, there are other solutions than hand me the dick saw,” he added. Maher wrapped it up by saying that while gender may be fluid, that “kids are fluid about everything” and want to be different things when they grow up from one day to the next. “I wanted to be a pirate. Thank God no one scheduled me for eye removal and peg leg surgery,” he said. 

IN FRIDAY'S EDITION of the Press Democrat, this passage appeared in a story about a misdemeanor child pornography charge filed against the son of Mendo Sheriff's Department Lt. Comer. Citing her source as the estranged former Mendo deputy Trent James, the PD scribe wrote, “He [James] said he got his information from a Willits police officer who heard it from an investigator in the district attorney’s office…”

COULD A SOURCE be any more vague? The PD “story” was about a possible “cover-up,” that the Sheriff's Department is trying to stymie the investigation into the Comer case to protect one of their own. 

NOT TRUE. The Mendo cops turned the entire matter over to a specialized Sacramento cyber-unit more than two years ago to avoid claims of conflict of interest. That it's taken so long has caused the cover-up suspicion. But cyber-investigations are complicated, and there are now lots of them. Sacto has now released their findings that a computer owned by Lt. Comer's son contained the vile images. The son has now been charged with a felony in the matter. The next move is DA Eyster's.

WHO WRITES: “Contrary to the claims of a couple of folks who claim to be in the know but are not, defendant Bailey Isaiah Comer, age 22, has been charged with a felony violation of Penal Code section 311.11(a), not a misdemeanor. This fact is easy to confirm on the court’s information portal. The prosecutor handling the case is Asst. DA Dale P. Trigg. The defendant’s defense attorney is Chris Andrian out of Santa Rosa. The next court date is June 6, 2022 at 9 o’clock in the morning in Judge Faulder’s Ukiah courtroom for entry of plea.”

TWO WOMEN MEET IN HEAVEN…

Woman #1: Hi Wanda!

Woman #2: Hi Sylvia! How’d you die?

Woman #1: I froze to death.

Woman #2: How horrible!

Woman #1: It wasn’t so bad. After I quit shaking from the cold I began to get warm and sleepy. Finally, I just drifted out and died a peaceful death. What about you?

Woman #2: I died of a massive heart attack. I suspected that my husband was cheating so I came home early to catch him in the act. But instead I found him alone in the den watching sports on TV.

Woman #1: So what happened?

Woman #2: I was so sure there was another woman there somewhere that I started running all over the house looking. I ran up into the attic and searched there and then all the way through every room down to the basement. Then I went back up looking through every closet and under every bed. I kept this up until I had looked everywhere. Finally, I became so exhausted that I just keeled over with that heart attack and died.

Woman #1: Too bad you didn’t look in the freezer — we’d both still be alive. 

TRENT JAMES has launched a run as an Official Write-In Candidate for Mendocino County Sheriff and this is what he needs: 40 registered voters that reside in Mendocino County to meet him tomorrow (Monday, May 23) at 3:00PM in the far back parking lot at the Perkins Starbucks in Ukiah. A requirement is to have 40 signatures to run. Please be there!

ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK

[1] Part of the Midlife Crisis maturation stage is the anxiety causing realization that the world ship you assumed was under the charge of a legitimate managerial hierarchy was really not under control but under the direction of a bunch of greedy idiots. I remember my realization of this fact was very unsettling. Age 35 or so.

[2] I have known much love in my life (I am 64) but have known no greater love than what I shared with my dog. For those who have never known this attachment there are no words, except, dogs are the grace of God on four legs. When he died he took a part of me with him. I won’t be whole until that day when we are reunited at the Rainbow Bridge.

[3] Both my parents were the apple of their parents eye. 

They had every imaginable advantage. 

They traveled the world. 

Compared to a hell of a lot of other people, they did pretty much whatever they wanted. 

My father is in his 80’s (his own father was dead at 62 , his grandfather at 43.)

My mother is in her 70’s. 

Their son died at 47. 

They live in a very nice neighborhood, and it takes about 30 minutes to walk from one end of their property to the other. 

But they bitch and moan like they are Somali orphans. 

And do so at least 345 days a year, as long as I have known them. 

So, yes, I suppose you could say I am very hard – hearted. 

To get pretty much any sympathy from me, you better have a really bad story.

[4] Beware if your kids hide their phone use from you. Duck out. Shut the phone off every time you come in the room. Have a passcode on there there’s a little too much inappropriate things going on. Responsible monitoring of social media is a new parenting requirement that we have sadly been neglecting. Neglecting that is one of the worst neglects of all it’s a level of child abuse because we aren’t protecting our kids from predators, or becoming one themselves. TicTok is the worst 9 year olds shaking their butts and dancing provocatively to WAY WAY WAY inappropriate songs. The pedophiles gobble that stuff up! Parents oh TicTok is cute!!! Yeah okay.

[5] Went to buy a paper the other day. ~$3! I had to laugh. The paper was almost a week old. They should have just given it to me. What did they think they were selling, a book? No wonder the newspapers are going out of business.

[6] Overpopulation, resource depletion and environmental breakdowns are surely on tap. But where I differ from many here who know this, is I am an optimist. Total breakdown is not inevitable. Solutions do exist. Most of them are considered science fiction now. The state of our society is crumbling, and seeing the total lack of response from the public makes it easy to be pessimistic. But as Yogi said, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. The future hasn’t happened so anything can happen right now. I’m gonna live my life, ‘tho I’m not blind. And if I’m wrong and I’m still around, I will rage against the night.

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