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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, June 9, 2022

Warmer | SEIU Demo | Art Scholarships | Boonville Farmers | Scholarshipping AV | Ship Wrecked | Beer Food | Coyote Valley | Mendo Hippies | Caspar Dance | County Notes | Stateline 1941 | Free Concerts | PA Aerial | Belligerent Bullhorn | Lady Sako | Wine Rant | Yesterday's Catch | Ukraine | Boy Toys | Empire Media | Professional Looters | Game 3 | 2025 Mustang | Squaresville Tour | Drunk Basket | Electric Trucks | Election Consequence | 3 Shots | Schoolhouse Gulch | Trans Film | North Main | Grant Farewell | LAPD Ladies | Part 2 | Caspar 1938

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WARM, CLEAR WEATHER will continue late in the week with weak marine stratus. Temperatures above 100 are possible in southern Lake County on Friday. Cooler temperatures and light coastal rain will return for the weekend. (NWS)

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COUNTY WORKERS DEMONSTRATED Tuesday in front of the Supe's chambers in protest of the news they will not receive raises, despite many of them doing the work of two people because of unfilled staff vacancies. 

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Anderson Valley Arts (AVArts) awarded four Arts Scholarships for Graduating Seniors at the Anderson Valley Junior & Senior High School (AVJ&SHS) June 7th Senior Awards Night. The 2022 AVArts Arts Scholarships for Graduating Seniors scholarships were awarded in honor of longtime Board Member Glynnis Jones who not only provided invaluable behind the scenes support to AVArts but was an ardent advocate for the arts in the AV schools and community. 

AVArts member Cathleen Micheaels presented the scholarship awards to the four very deserving graduates:

  • an award of $1,500 to Jasmine Theiss to support her attendance at Santa Rosa Junior College to study for her Associate in Arts Degree with a focus on taking courses in the arts;
  • an award of $1,500 to Cristofer Oseguera to support his attendance at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo to study business administration while also continuing to study photography and video;
  • an award of $3,500 to Trent Lopez to support his attendance at Mendocino College and then transfer to a university to study architecture while also continuing to study photography and design; and
  • an award of $3,500 to Claire Livingston to support her attendance at the University of California, Los Angeles to major in astrophysics with a minor in the arts.

AVArts was impressed with the applications of all four of this year’s scholarship recipients along with their commitments to making the arts parts of their futures and wishes Jasmine, Cristofer, Trent and Claire a year ahead full of discovery, creativity and inspiration! 

AVArts is a 501(c)3 non-profit made up of volunteer members dedicated to supporting and promoting the arts in Anderson Valley since 1999. The AVArts Arts Scholarships for Graduating Seniors are made possible by the efforts of the volunteer members and the support of local artists, educators and supporters of the arts in Anderson Valley. In addition to scholarship programs, AVArts also supports bringing diverse, quality supplemental arts programs to Anderson Valley schools that would otherwise not be possible. For more information about AVArts and its programs see

Anderson Valley Arts Members

Karen Altaras, Peggy Dart, Paula Gray, Dennis Hudson, Cathleen Micheaels and Jody Williams

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THE BOONVILLE GYM was ceremonially arrayed in flowers and balloons when I arrived early evening to dispense scholarships on behalf of my nephew, a graduate of Anderson Valley High School, class of '87, and a man with high and fond regards for his alma mater, expressed last night to the tune of mucho dinero. Greeted at the door by the lean, fit there's-no-such-thing-as-a-former Marine, Patrick Ford, commander of the local American Legion, Ford's military bearing nearly inspired me to snap off a salute in greeting, but since we were both long out of uniform I continued my slovenly civilian shuffle to my seat, soon joined by some twenty locals also bearing scholarships. If there's a public school anywhere that gives young people more of a cash headstart in higher learning, I don't think it's in Mendocino County.

A STRONG BELIEVER in getting on and getting off before all possibility of narcotizing my trapped audience, I was the final presenter of a long 90 minutes of prior donors. “The Anderson-Miner family,” I said to the mostly Spanish-speaking audience, “is pleased to again help the sons and daughters of our friends and neighbors continue their formal education. Our awards come with books authored by your benefactor each, perhaps, of use to a young person wishing to escape the chamber of unknowing.” (Hell, I had to say something, and that's what popped into my hazy head.)

WITH HIGH SCHOOL principal Jim Snyder passing me the books and the magic envelopes, I sang out the names of the recipients, hoping not to have mangled too many of them.

ONE YEAR, people at the awards ceremony shouted out, “How much? How much is each one worth?” That was before the donor realized that his checks were being diverted to non-scholarly purposes, but it was quite a wowzer of an evening with the final award of forty grand bringing eliciting startled gasps, and the teen recipient in disbelieving sobs. Ever since, when it was my turn to do the family awards, I've tried to rattle them off without much ado, leaving the ado to the prior speakers.

THERE are 12 graduates from the high school this year, and I'm pretty sure all twelve scooped up scholarships Tuesday night.

AMONG the out-of-town presenters were Kalilah Ford-Thomas, a colonel in the Marine Corps, daughter of Sherri Ford whom many of us remember fondly. Khalilah flew in from the East Coast to honor the memory of her mother.

AND SHARON SHAPIRO attended with her son Ben and granddaughter Abby. Ben remembered his father, Mike Shapiro, the man who, you might say, was the founder of modern Anderson Valley, as he brokered The Valley's conversion to wine and tourism from logging, sheep and apples. I spent hours in losing arguments with Mr. Shapiro about the transition, but the generosity of his family lives on in impressive annual scholarships.


James Snyder Career Pathway Awards; Nadia Berrigan, Visual and Digital Arts Pathway; Beth Swehla, Agriscience Pathway Awards; Ann Panttaja & Ruby Suarez, Math Recognition; Nat Corey-Moran, Mendocino Community Foundation; Susan McClure, AVCSEA; Alice Bonner, Unity Club; Eric Bloyd, Lions Club; Patrick Ford, American Legion; Andy Jones, AV Grange Dusenberry Memorial; James Snyder, Yorkville Scholarship; Sandy Mailliard, AV Firefighters Association; Ben & Abby Shapiro, Michael L. Shapiro Memorial; Cathleen Michaels, AV Arts; Khalilah Thomas, Cheri Fish Memorial; James Snyder, Independent Career Women; Shauna Espinoza, AV Boosters; Mayte Guerrero, William Sterling Memorial; James Snyder, Nor Cal Scholarship Foundation; Cindy Novella & Linnea Totten, AV Education Foundation; Bruce Anderson, Robert Mailer Anderson Scholarships 

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The Wreck of the Sea Foam, Point Arena, 1931

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THE AV SENIOR CENTER KITCHEN STAFF is bringing a delicious menu to the Beer Park this Friday and Saturday from 12-6ish. Come get Sausages on Hoagies or a veggie sandwich if that’s more your thing. Yum beer and sausages!

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California State Highway 20 can be seen going through the middle of this valley. After Coyote Dam was completed, this valley was purposely flooded in 1958 to create Lake Mendocino, 5-miles north/east of Ukiah, CA. This photo was taken from the site of the old, former Garzini Winery & home, located on the west side of Coyote Valley/Lake Mendocino, looking east.

Coyote Valley, PreLake, circa 1940s-50s (photo posted by Kay Testa)

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MENDO HIPPIES, an old timer looks back: “Hippies were the spoiled, and opulent over-expression of American freedom and prosperity. Almost all the hippies came from families who did not have a father in the war, were almost all good Democrats, almost all believed the world owed them, and almost all were city people. My father used to say, some people never grow up, but most do. Most of the hippies who moved to Mendocino County would have eventually grown up, except they discovered, then participated in the pot black market scam, and as a result were able to continue on with their fantasy view of the world, and try to impose it on everyone else.”

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by Mark Scaramella

FORMER SUPERVISOR JOHN MCCOWEN tried to warn the Supervisors on Tuesday about the long-term dangers of borrowing large sums of money.

McCowen: "From 1996 to 2002 the people sitting in your chairs at that time went on a borrowing binge. They borrowed vast sums of money for Pension Obligation Bonds and Certificates of Participation, a real estate financing scheme. That's what remodeled this building [the County admin center on Low Gap Road in Ukiah] and constructed other county buildings. It all looked like easy money at the time. We are still paying down that debt at the rate of approximately $10 million a year. If you stay on track to pay that off it will be paid off entirely by 2030, not so far off at the present time… 

“It's important to keep the focus on not incurring long-term debt that your successors will have to deal with. Yet on your consent calendar you have Item 3i to commit $90,000 for legal services for a bond financing scheme that you have discussed. You say you have not made a commitment to go forward. But when you vote approval for this $90,000 for the bond counsel, I guarantee you will go forward with borrowing the $6 million which will further extend the county's long-term debt to around 2042. It's the first step down a slippery slope to borrow further sums of money. It's a very easy way to acquire gobs of money in the present day without thought to the long-term payoff.

Supervisor Williams asked: “If we wait until the county can save up rather than borrow now, with the rate of inflation we are going to pay far more. Will we look back and say that that was a financial mistake?”

McCowen: “You should pay the increased match of the new jail building out of current and ongoing revenues. Every year the county does have a balance remaining at closeout. The board needs to tighten up its commitment to fiscal responsibility. You burned through most of $22.6 million in PG&E disaster relief funds with no strategic discussion about what the long-term implications of these funds would be. It was like, Oh we can fund this, we can fund that. You have to live within your available means otherwise you are setting the county up for future failure.”

Interim CEO Darcie Antle later said that there would be no fund balance remaining because the budget is allegedly tight.

That later led into a further discussion of the county's high personnel vacancy rate which has gone unanalyzed. Some of the vacancies are not in the budget, but others are. The board doesn't seem to understand which is which. Obviously, all funded vacant positions if they remain vacant will produce some fund balance carry over.

The county’s lead union representatives, Julie Beardsley and Patrick Hickey tried to point this out to the supervisors, saying they should use salary savings from funded vacancies and increased sales and property taxes to increase the pay of the existing employees and reduced turnover.

But nobody seems to know or care what the continuing vacancy rate budget numbers are for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

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In another muddled financial discussion the Board tried to pretend that last year’s decision to combine the Auditor-Controller with the Treasurer-Tax Collector wasn't really a consolidation, with Williams claiming it was just the elimination of an elected official. But of course, it's not as simple as that, as newly elected Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector Chamise Cubbison explained:

Cubbison: “Under the new consolidated office I hope the board fully funds the Auditor Controller's proposed budget with the understanding that to be successful we need to be fully staffed. We need to have resources that are appropriate. There's been changes obviously to the salary for the combined position, That is not something I requested but I'm willing to take on the challenge. I'm not sure where that money can be found but I urge the board find a way to make the Auditor Controller's budget whole.” 

CEO Antle told the board that $1.7 million ARPA funds were used to bring staffing back to pre-Covid levels for this year, but those funds will cease after this year. (And who knows how much will be spent given the ongoing vacancies and hiring difficulties and delays?)

Cubbison said she couldn't estimate the actual timing of the consolidation, perhaps three, or six, or nine months. She also said her office needs proper staffing to make sure all tax collections are received. 

Williams: “There's a sense that the Board has directed the two offices to consolidate into one. I don't think that's quite accurate. You [Cubbison] are becoming the elected department head of both. But there's no pressure from the board to immediately consolidate. It's just that there is one elected department head in charge of the joint operations. I don't want the Auditor to feel that she's under a time constraint to merge the offices.”

Supervisor John Haschak asked Cubbison about cost savings which wer expected to come with consolidation.

Cubbison: “It's too soon to tell. But I didn't really see a huge benefit in terms of the budget because the reality is what you've done is increase the salary of the department head but the full-time equivalent workload of the department is not any different. So the fact that there's no longer an elected Treasurer Tax Collector means that we are now probably going to end up with a Treasury Manager or another Assistant Treasurer-Tax Collector to cover the workload. So there's actually an additional cost for the additional department head, and that position would be paid at the same level that the Treasurer Tax Collector. But there's also the added requirement by Government code that there's another audit to maintain the separation of duties on both sides of the money, so to speak. So we will need an additional audit for that. We will also need to contract with an outside CPA for an independent treasury count, probably quarterly. After the consolidation, we still need to maintain the separation. There may be some administrative efficiencies such as for Payroll and Accounts Payable, but those are not huge savings. We will probably need another outside contract to make sure that we are collecting as much as we can on the transient occupancy tax, we have not incurred that contract cost in the last few years. There will be additional cost in resuming that software license so we have access to that new data.”

A further discussion of the consolidation was postponed to a future board meeting. With the Board and CEO continuing to insist that there’s a tight budget, will the Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector find herself arguing with the Board that is looking for cost savings when she demonstrates to the Board that their ill-considered, unplanned and unanalyzed consolidation idea will end up costing more, not less?

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Karen’s mom going into Brookings Oregon, 1941

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Dear Terry Sites,

Thank you for your excellent reporting and your update on upcoming summer music events in our area. I would like to let your readers know that the Symphony of the Redwoods will present four concerts over three days this summer! First, up is the full Symphony. We are back, led by guest conductor Phillip Lenberg in works by Schubert, Dvorak, and a newly composed piece; Carmel by the Sea by Nancy Bloomer Deussen. Abigail Rowland Strock, soprano, will perform a gorgeous Mozart aria with the orchestra as well. These celebration concerts will take place at Cotton Auditorium, Fort Bragg at 7:30 PM on June 25th and at 2 PM on June 26th. There will be a free 30-min pre-concert lecture by Dr. Lenberg one hour before each concert. 

Back by popular demand is our free (with garden admission) outdoor concerts at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. This year we will feature two distinctly different concerts on one day, July 31st. First up is Mozart's Clarinet Quintet and more with Clarinet virtuoso Roy Zajac at 12 noon on the Events Lawn. Christianna Valentina will perform at 3 PM with her ensemble Golden Era tango music for both listening and dancing. For more information please visit A beautiful way to spend a day in the Gardens with friends and music. Refreshments will be available. 

Eva von Bahr,

President, Symphony of the Redwoods board of directors.

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Point Arena Harbor and Coast Guard Station, 1938

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On 6/8/22 5:31 PM, Zo Abell wrote: today in mendo some men arrived with signs and a bullhorn, yelling anti gay, going to hell, sinner messages - LOUD - they shouted at a lesbian couple with kids, tj and rosa, who were in the spread eagle tattoo shop, came out and put on loud, happy, prideful music and tj DANCED up to the guys. high school kids arrived and some of them danced too. gay kids arrived and thanked tj for making them feel safe. police arrived and said storekeepers were complaining. tj and rosa hoped that was not the case. some bank folks thanked tj, saying they had been listening to vile hatred for a couple of hours. the police said if someone wanted to make a citizen arrest they could. tj said, yes, they could. my shop is right there, this is our town and we cannot allow loud hatred to bombard us. it turned into a loud music happy fest. the men and the signs and the hatred left. i was not there. this is the story as i understood it from my granddaughter, rosa. thank you tj.

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Thanks for passing on the report Zo. Does anyone know if this group was part of a so-called church, or were they a small independent group of provocateurs? Any vehicle descriptions so we can track their movements to warn others the haters are coming their way? If they show up in Fort Bragg PLEASE someone post to the list and other media so we can give them a real Mendocino Coast Hometown "welcome". Eggs optional, for those so impassioned.

— “Derek”

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JOHN SAKOWICZ WRITES: My wife, Shannon, at the Santo Domingo de la Calzada on the Camino de Santiago.

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Since no one else will say it, The “Winos” (vineyard owners and their cronies) are completely off the reservation! Pointing fingers and ass grabbing anything that moves. Complete disregard for virtually everyone and everything. One of the greatest rackets known to man. 

Water is definitely part of the money! Build another pond (under a certain size is minimal government interference), build another pond so these pesky enviro conscious hippie fucks can’t see it from the road. The badassest well pumps west of the Mississippi. Don't like my fans? Go buy earmuffs at the chainsaw shop cause I ain’t shuttin this shit down, you know how much one of these fuckers costs? Well, do you? It's more that I pay my average migrant worker. 10 times more. 

Clear cuts, dams, ponds, chemicals, underpaid workers, exclusion from all laws and regulations that mere mortals must abide by. “Oh Margaret, send the county 5 cases of our 2016!” Fuck a riparian setback, just do what I say! I need a bigger wine cellar damnit, make her work faster, plant more grapes, more grapes I say! Green eggs, green eggs and fucking ham, green eggs and ham with my wine spritzer Sunday morning after church Sam I Am. I’ve got a big plan Sam I Am! My big big beautiful house with radiant heat and solar powered jacuzzi. Eight car garage and tennis court to boot! A half-mile long driveway with new electric gate (private security for events). “Honey, I'm going to Miami on Monday. Got time to go? No dear, we have the pool guy coming on Monday. Maybe I can go on your next trip now come kiss me you big Wino!

How many people live in the motion picture you are starring in with your Teslas, private jets, and Ivy League schools?! Not very many! 5200 square feet is a rather large residence for a midget and his gold diggin’ trophy wife (or boy toy). Housekeeper, gardener, cook, personal trainer — they all want a piece of you while you cling desperately to your narcissistic insignificant little grape farmer fantasy. Spend your time and energies protecting your possessions from the have-nots. Poor, poor yuppie scum with all your two-faced acquaintances and one fellow hater. It is lonely at the top. Only the other pond scum are there with you, and maybe they have their eyes on your prize?

Spend your money and fuck your workers and you are a winner. Everyday people die because of wine in Norcal. (We are famous for our booze) and you made a dime on it. 

People around you are not blind and stupid, just rendered insignificant by your control/fraud racket. When the shit hits nobody is coming to my house to rob and make things equal. They, I'm glad to say, are headed to yours. Good luck wino!

Oaky Joe Munson

Monte Rio

PS. One good use for vineyards: FIRE BREAKS.

PPS. If you share a house that is 5000 square feet with one other human then you are both overindulgent ridiculous gluttonous pigs! Oink Oink.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, June 8, 2022

Coggins, Faber, Gomez, Herrera

JENNA COGGINS, Fort Bragg. Fake bill/note.

SCOTT FABER, Ukiah. Trespassing.

ANGEL GOMEZ, San Jose/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

JESUS HERRERA, Willits. Disorderly conduct-under influence.

Maciel, Martinez, McCloud, Mendez

RAMON MACIEL, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)


YANCY MCCLOUD, Hopland. Domestic battery, contributing to delinquency of minor.

CODY MENDEZ, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.

Pike, Reyes, Want

DEMETRIA PIKE, Ukiah. Trespassing, pollution near state waters, resisting.

LATOYA REYES-CAMPOS, Ukiah. Trespassing, refuse disposal in state waters.

SILVIA WANT, Lakeport/Ukiah. Paraphernalia.

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Sanctions are ‘unraveling’ Russia’s economy, study says.

Moscow’s chief rabbi leaves Russia amid pressure to back war.

UN chief says effect of Ukraine war on the world is worsening.

(Al Jazeera)

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by Caitlin Johnstone

The Grayzone has published leaked email communications between faux-left British commentator and aspiring parliamentarian Paul Mason and a shady intelligence contractor named Amil Khan which plainly shows the two plotting to use state power to subvert anti-imperialist media outlets like Consortium News and Grayzone, as well as "far left rogue academics" and the broader left more generally.

Mason has obliquely authenticated the contents of the emails with a weird, rambling Medium post claiming to have been victimized by a "Russian hack-and-leak operation." The post does not deny the veracity of the emails. Instead, Mason bizarrely claims that they "may be altered or faked," as though they are not his own personal communications whose accuracy he could instantly deny if they were altered or faked in any way.

This is the same as verifying the emails and then yelling "But look over there! It's Putin!"

It would take a very silly person indeed to look at a bunch of authenticated emails showing a major British media figure conspiring with an intelligence contractor to subvert the antiwar left, and then conclude that the correct response to this would be to get angry at the Russians.

There will probably be a lot written about these leaks in the coming days, but for now I'd like to focus on the fact that, in these private communications between a media insider and an intelligence insider, the "independent investigative journalism" outlet known as Bellingcat is described as a "proxy" for western intelligence agencies and is said to receive “a steady stream of intel” from them.

"Just as Bellingcat get a steady stream of intel from Western agencies, I suspect the attacks on you and others are fed by Russian and Chinese intel," Mason is seen telling Khan, who has been the subject of a previous Grayzone exposé.

On the team of spinmeisters Mason and Khan were plotting to assemble to undermine anti-imperialist media, Mason said that "what it really also needs is intel service input by proxy - eg Bellingcat." Which certainly reads like an explicit call to work with western intelligence agencies to take down his perceived enemies on the left.

"Khan – a long-time advocate and associate of [Bellingcat] – did not once challenge Mason’s repeated characterization of the supposed citizen journalist collective as a clearing house for friendly spy agencies," write Grayzone's Kit Klarenberg and Max Blumenthal.

As of this writing there has been little in the way of denial from Bellingcat of those claims the closet CIA fan Paul Mason made when he believed he was communicating in privacy and safety. The Twitter page of its executive director and founder Eliot Higgins tweeted, "I see the Gray Zone has acquired even more hacked emails, I wonder who keeps providing them with those, hmmmm."

When asked by a commenter if intelligence agencies leak information to Bellingcat, Higgins replied, "No and never," which he then immediately retreated from when pressed, saying instead, "Well if we use sources that aren't open sources we'll use multiple independent sources to acquire the same or related data and triangulate the data to confirm its authenticity."

Which is a mighty long pace from "No and never," if you look at it. It's saying well if we do get information from someone who might work for an intelligence agency, we'll use "related data" from other sources (who themselves may or may not also have intelligence ties) to "confirm" it.

People would be well advised to take anything Higgins says about his operation with a large grain of salt. In 2016 he dismissed the suggestion that his operation is funded by the CIA cutout known as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) with a "Stop reading conspiracy websites." Less than a year later he admitted when pressed that Bellingcat does indeed receive funding from NED.

This is not the first time it has been claimed that Bellingcat operates as a proxy for western intelligence information laundering, nor the second, nor the third. As Alan MacLeod documented last year for Mintpress News, there was already a mountain of evidence that the "independent" narrative management firm celebrated and beloved by the western political/media class operates as a proxy of the western intelligence cartel. Mason and Khan's communications are just one more piece on the pile.

Western intelligence agencies have numerous pathways through which they can get information, misinformation and disinformation into the mainstream press without people noticing that the news media are publishing government propaganda. Mason's emails are yet more evidence that Bellingcat is one such pipeline for intelligence cartel psyops.

If there's something the cartel wants published, they launder it through proxies like Bellingcat and then the news media run it saying it's been verified by an "independent" "OSINT" service. And presto, you've got yourself some good old fashioned Langley-cooked spook propaganda.

This doesn't mean that everything Bellingcat publishes is entirely false (the best propaganda is generally a mixture of truth with half-truth, distortion, lies by omission, and the removal of context and perspective), it just means it's generally untrustworthy. Because it operates at the direction, knowingly or unknowingly, of sociopathic government agencies whose only interest is in domination and control.

If the term "information laundering" sounds familiar to you, it might be because you heard it used in the news, like during the George W Bush administration when Dick Cheney's inner circle was leaking false claims about Iraq to The New York Times, "verifying" that information when contacted to confirm it, and then citing those false news reports when continuing to make the case for invasion.

The term might also sound familiar to you because information laundering was the subject of the much-ridiculed Mary Poppins jingle sung by notorious imperial narrative manager Nina Jankowicz, who also featured in the Grayzone report. Apparently Mason contacted Khan in outrage over a Consortium News piece disputing the official imperial Ukraine narrative, and Khan reached out to Jankowicz for advise on what to do.

Jankowitz told Khan that Consortium was a case of “useful idiots rather than funding,” meaning it's not paid by the Kremlin it just publishes things that empire managers don't like. Khan then told Mason that there was a highly suspicious gap in Consortium News publications between 2005 and 2011, which Consortium editor Joe Lauria explained in The Grayzone piece was apparently the result of Khan not doing basic fact checking and not understanding how the internet works.


Sing it with me now: "It's how you hide a little, hide a little lie! It's how you hide a little, hide a little lie!"


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by Ann Killion

BOSTON — The atmosphere was as advertised.

Green and mean. Hostile and historic. And it worked. TD Garden didn’t win the game, but it sure helped.

In a Game 3 loss, the Golden State Warriors spent much of the game looking uncharacteristically rattled and out of sync. Stephen Curry was injured late in the game and is hopeful he can play in Game 4. Draymond Green had a difficult night and fouled out. And even though the Warriors rallied and took the lead at one point in the third quarter, the result was a 116-100 defeat.

The Celtics lead the series, two games to one. The winner of Game 3, when a Finals series is even at 1-1, wins the championship 82.1% of the time.

But that stat means that 17.9% of the time, the loser of Game 3 takes the title, and if there was ever going to be a team to beat the statistics, it probably would be the Warriors. A team that knows what it takes to win a championship and isn’t despondent by being down.

So back to the drawing board to figure out some things before Friday’s Game 4.

“It felt like we were swimming upstream most of the night,” head coach Steve Kerr said.

One of the things on the to-do list might be getting a shaman or a witch to cast a spell over TD Garden.

Because it definitely is a role player in this Finals drama.

The Garden is a magical, mystical place. It’s not the original Garden, but it’s right next door, and some of the progeny of the original Garden’s rats are probably running through the bowels of the newer place.

The crowd, which packed nearby bars hours before tip-off, was loud and lit, from the parquet floor up to the rafters where the 17 championship banners swing, twisting in the collective heat and passion rising from the stands.

The green T-shirts handed out said “It’s all about 18.” And the Celtics are now two wins away from winning the 18th title in franchise history. And the first since 2008.

There was some voodoo leprechaun magic going around the Celtics’ arena. About two hours before the game, the Warriors players noticed in their warm-ups that the rim of their basket was too high. By a couple of inches. Yes, that’s the kind of thing basketball players can feel instantly. They asked the arena staff to check and sure enough, the basket was too high.

And you think that was simply just a coincidence?

As expected, Warriors forward Green was the main target of the Celtics’ fans’ ire, public enemy No. 1 in Boston. The people in green hate the man with Green on his jersey.

The “F— You, Draymond” chants started early. The “Draymond sucks” chants continued.

“Classy,” Kerr said when asked about it. “Very classy.”

Klay Thompson was also not amused.

“We’ve played in front of rude people before,” he said. “Dropping F-bombs with children in the crowd. Real classy. Good job, Boston.”

Green shrugged it off.

“They did what I expected,” Green said.

“I embrace it. I enjoy it. They waste a lot of energy talking to me, so it’s great.”

For a long time, the crowd’s ire didn’t produce much of anything. Green wasn’t baited. But in the fourth quarter, when Al Horford, Marcus Smart and Curry tangled fighting for a ball and Green dove into the scrum, he was called for his sixth foul, ending his night and sending the crowd into ecstasy. Green said he got the foul trying to pull players off of Curry, who he could hear screaming at the bottom of the pile.

For Celtics fans, it was the perfect evening: a win and Green imploding. For the Warriors, they’re not as concerned with Green fouling out as the fact that Curry came up from the tangle limping. Kerr said they would learn more about any potential injury Thursday.

Curry walked gingerly into the news conference, with a slight limp. He said it felt like the same injury he had in March (a sprained ligament and bone bruise in his left foot, also suffered against Boston) though not as bad.

“I don’t feel like I’ll miss a game though,” Curry said.

As for Green, who had a tough game all around?

“He’ll bounce back, he always does,” Kerr said.

How would Green evaluate his own play?

“Like s—,” Green said. “I never found a rhythm on both ends of the floor. ... We were soft, that’s the most disappointing thing.”

What happened Wednesday doesn’t have much impact on what happens Friday. Each game is its own entity and momentum doesn’t seem to carry from game to game. The Warriors are here hunting for a split and, when they watch the video, they’ll see plenty of things to correct and plenty to take encouragement from. Like a seven-point possession in the third, when Horford was called for a flagrant foul against Curry. Like the fact that Thompson, who had said he was going to Google “Game 6 Klay” to boost his confidence, got his shot going. Like the fact that they battled back after a terrible start and made it a game.

There are things to work on. And things to solve. Including the atmosphere.


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* * *


by Herb Caen

I was lounging at the corner of Fifth and Mish', minding anybody's business, when along came Ken Kesey, the successful author ('One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Sometimes a Great Notion), who has opted out of the big money machine and is trying to fly free. He rolled up in his famous bus, the one painted all those psychedelic colors — "the Rolling Rorschach," he calls it -- and he reached out his hand to this square and said, "Climb aboard!" His friend, Babbs, was behind the wheel wearing captain's bars on his jacket and marksmanship medals on his chest. There was a blonde young man named Ramrod and another named John and a bright looking kid wearing thick glasses. Mrs. Kesey and her three small children. And a pretty, thin girl named Susie.

They had driven over from Fairfax where they lived aboard the bus (officially named "Further"), to show me San Francisco. As we drove down Mission toward the Ferry building, Babbs and Ramrod spoke to the people on the streets via amplifier. "It's a beautiful day!" Babbs called out in a voice that carried for a block. The people looked startled. "The sun is out! Let's all enjoy ourselves!" Pedestrians looked at the bus with hostility.

We rolled back up Market, Babbs keeping up a constant stream of good-natured chatter, Kesey playing reflectively on a harmonica. From my vantage point inside the crazy-wonderful bus, the square world never looked squarer or more ridiculous. Men in hats and little dark suits, striding along. "On your way to the topless and bottomless?" heckled Babbs. They scowled. Women shoppers in drab clothes stared deadpan, compressing their lips. Only the young people were able to summon a grin in return for a smile.

As we headed for Golden Gate Park, Kesey perched on a box in the middle of the aisle. He was wearing a red, white and blue striped shirt tucked into tight gold striped pants stuffed into scuffed cowboy boots. As has been remarked before, he looks like Marlon Brando, despite his tonsure of curly blonde hair, and he has the same sad, sweet smile. His capped right front tooth looks red from a distance, but actually it is a tiny American flag. He is a man of charm, sympathy and, obviously, talent.

"I've got to get away from the Bay Area," he said. "There's too much going on here, it reaches out and encircled you. I've got to get back to the high country." He glanced around the bus. "I'm sorry it's such a mess today. We're going to fix this old bus up and travel. This is our home. Wonderful things have happened here -- two babies born on it in Mexico. We're going to install a navigator's bubble in the roof, revolving, so we can really observe."

The famous bus inched through the crowded Haight-Ashbury. Now we were surrounded by beaming, bearded faces: everybody knew it was in Kesey. He lit a stick of pungent incense -- "to cover up the other smells around here," he said, grinning. At a street corner he impulsively jumped out and handed the incense to an old man waiting for a bus. The oldster refused it, growling, "I don't use dope." "A real clean old man," said Babbs.

We went through the Park toward the ocean. "Some professors at the University of Texas want to put me in for a Rockefeller grant, hoping to get me to write again," he said, shaking his head slowly. "But I don't think I could ever write another big chunk of a book, like a telephone directory. Still, its $14,000 and I could go to Europe. Cuckoo's Nest still sells -- it's in its fourth or fifth printing. A royalty check always seems to arrive just in time to keep me going."

A motorcycle officer pulled alongside the bus, eyed it curiously, and moved away. Kesey followed him with his eyes. "San Francisco cops are okay -- they leave us alone," he said. "Soon as we get outside the city, some cop has to stop us and come aboard and look around." He was arrested once on a marijuana charge and the jury hung 8-4 for for conviction. "I know the jury liked me," he said. "But then the prosecutor told them, 'Don't let emotions sway you,' like if they didn't convict me they wouldn't be doing their duty."

"My parents made a breakthrough the other day," he said. "They live in Oregon, very proper people, and they hate this bus -- they think it's responsible for my decline and fall. But they finally came aboard, which was a very hard thing for them to do. I think they feel better about it now."

At Pacific and Fillmore, the bus stop to let me off, back in squaresville. We waved goodbye and I watched it roll away, riding high above the Cadillacs and Lincolns, looking grave and defiant. And quite a bit poignant.

* * *

 “The Drunk Basket.” In the 1960s, bars in Istanbul would hire someone to carry drunk people back to their homes.

* * *


Huh, something is not adding up here.

The new Ford F150 EV was promoted as being an ‘affordable’ electric truck, retailing for about $40,000. But a few are turning up on dealers lots now with a sticker price of $141,000. Biden was up in Detroit last year promoting these things, billing them as Everyman’s vehicle, like the Ford Model T a century ago. Ford claims to have hundreds of thousands of reservations for this F150, so many that they can’t keep up with demand. However, a column in the WSJ a few weeks ago made the claim that 70% of Americans have less than $400 in the bank, and live week to week on $500 per week. Ford competitor Rivian in Indianapolis originally priced their EV truck at $67,500, but has since raised the cost to $83,500. On the Motley Fool site the claim was made that even at $83,500 every unit sold would result in a $15,000 loss, that the truck needs to be sold for at least $110 thousand for the company to remain solvent. In addition there is a required $15,500 subscription payable over 5 years.

So what gives? Is the EV Revolution just another just another scam based upon wishful thinking, lies and false hope? Some of these companies (Ford, GM) have promised to end all ICE production by 2030

* * *

* * *

KYLE RITTENHOUSE, an on-line comment: “He shot a convicted pedophile, a serial domestic abuser, and a person charged with drunken reckless firearms discharge. ALL chased him and sought to do bodily injury to him, the lone survivor of the 3 pointing a pistol at his head, and gained a spicy bicep for his trouble. Kyle achieved what the vaccine could not. 3 shots and he was actually safe.”

* * *

Ox Team Hauling Logs over Schoolhouse Creek Gulch

* * *

‘WHAT IS A WOMAN?’ A Movie That Should Be Reviewed More, For One Thing

Matt Walsh pranks the pants off America's silliest intellectuals, and the sad thing is, it wasn't hard at all

by Matt Taibbi

Several months ago I interviewed a feminist writer named Kara Dansky as part of the “Meet the Censored” series. The piece was written and edited, but I kept putting off publication, telling myself each week the time wasn’t right.

In truth I was afraid of dealing with blowback from trans activists. It was the first time I was scared away from a topic. I apologized to Kara this week and am running the interview concurrent with this review. The point being: if even a serial gobbler of negative attention like me is nervous about publishing someone else’s opinions on a subject — remember, just co-signing the infamous Harper’s letter with J.K. Rowling ended up costing Substack’s Matt Yglesias a spot at a company he co-founded, Vox — that means no one with even a theoretical link to left-liberal audiences will want to go near this topic voluntarily.

Which brings us to Matt Walsh’s new movie, What is a Woman?, simultaneously the most talked-about and most ignored documentary in the world. The movie, which tries and fails to get trans activists, academics, and medical professionals to offer a definition of womanhood, is both trending and more or less totally un-reviewed. The most prominent outlets who’ve admitted to watching it have names like the Christian Post and Spectator Australia, despite a 96% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film is narrated by Walsh and distributed by Ben Shapiro’s conservative Daily Wire, which is crucial to understanding why it will be a success even if — especially if — no mainstream reviewers touch it.

The controversy in the film could have been explored to great effect by someone on the “other side,” but since the topic mostly just terrifies people over here, the entire debate has become the property of conservatives like Walsh and Christopher Rufo by default. (There’s a small community on the left of people like Dansky that’s been trying to elevate various concerns for years, without much success — more on them in a moment).

The plot is simple. Walsh — a religious conservative provocateur who’s written books with titles like Church of Cowards: A Wake-Up Call to Complacent Christians and The Unholy Trinity: Blocking the Left’s Assault on Life, Marriage, and Gendertravels to women’s marches, visits with women’s studies professors, interviews doctors who perform vaginoplasty surgeries, and asks all, “What is a Woman?” The operative joke is none of these self-proclaimed experts on womanhood can or will answer the question.

Years ago, when I first started publishing the eXile in Russia, almost every prank we tried worked, even the dumb ones, because officials in Soviet society had been raised in complete insulation from the practical joke and therefore bit on every hook. The specialists in Walsh’s film are the same types of targets. Most are used to having their bullshit rubber-stamped and don’t realize they’re playing themselves. Walsh is a ham and a satirist, a creature we never used to see on the political right decades ago. The verbose absurdity of modern leftist thought, coupled with the astonishing absence of a sense of humor in the landscape from whence the most extreme ideas come, has willed conservative comedy into being.

Walsh makes easy work of these pre-offended subjects. He’s got people taking seriously his capsule Twitter self-description as a “theocratic fascist,” and his children’s book project, Johnny the Walrus, was the joke equivalent of walking through a wide open door and picking up an unguarded bag of money. The illustrated book tells of little Johnny, who variously dreams of being a dinosaur and a knight and then a walrus (he puts wooden spoons in his mouth as tusks), only to have adults seize on the latter fantasy and embrace it to the point where he ends up stuck a walrus forever. He can’t change his mind, because “human walruses are real walruses.”

You can almost hear activists grumbling, Very funny, motherfucker, except the book with a few tweaks would read exactly like leaden, activist-approved children’s allegories like Jack (Not Jackie). This is probably why Johnny the Walrus more or less immediately hit #1 on Amazon’s LGBTQ+ list (Amazon, humorously, put him in the category on their own). That was before the online retailer panicked and after an uproar recategorized Walrus as Political and Social Commentary, with Target pulling the book altogether. Meanwhile, audiences without much of a dog in the fight were left to wonder why Jack (Not Jackie) — a book written and published in partnership with the adult political organization GLAAD — is not Political and Social Commentary, but Walsh’s leg-pulling, accidental bestseller is.

As with Walrus, What is a Woman? lets targets mock themselves. Two scenes sum up the movie. In one, white-haired Don Sucher, owner of Sucher and Sons Star Wars Shop in Aberdeen, Washington, explains an incident from last August, when he put a sign in his store that read, “Dr. Seuss Has a New Book Out. ‘If You Are Born With a Dick, You Are Not a Chick.’”

Why did Sucher put that sign up? In my admittedly limited experience there are three types of people who come out as detractors to current trans thinking. Some disagree on scientific grounds, like biologist Colin Wright. Others, like Dansky and Rowling, have feminist critiques. A third group I think just gets weirded out seeing people in dresses, heels, and beards, and objects to the entire phenomenon. I leave it to the reader to guess where Sucher falls on the spectrum, but if you put a sign in your store that essentially reads, FUCK YOUR BELIEFS, it won’t be long in the Internet age before someone takes the cheese. Sure enough, trans councilwoman Tiesa Mieskis showed up at Sucher’s store and the two had a fierce argument that went viral, with Sucher complaining, “I went to Vietnam to fight for all this shit.”

At the end of his interview with Sucher, Walsh asks the central question. “You’re not a scientist, you’re not a gender studies major,” Walsh says. “How do you know that you’re a man?”

“I guess,” Sucher shrugs, “because I got a dick.”

Conversely, in another scene, Walsh interviews a Tennessee Licensed Marital and Family Therapist named Gert Comfrey. Walsh reads from her website:

You say, ‘I use a combination of approaches in my therapeutic work including anti-oppression, feminist, and narrative frameworks. I rely deeply on systems theory and the understanding that individuals are products of and in dialogue with our surroundings, including our families, broader culture, workplaces, nature, and political climates.’ What, uh, does that mean?

Comfrey, who’s game and a good sport, tries to translate.

“Yeah, so, thinking about the modalities that I use, I’m definitely informed by like feminist family therapy, and the ideas that we live in gendered worlds where there are certain imperatives that are placed on us about who we are and what we do based on how we’ve been gendered…”

Comfrey goes on like this for two and a half agonizing minutes, during which time they (preferred pronouns are they, them theirs, I checked) says things like, “We know now that… some women have penises, right? Some men have vaginas.” Walsh prods, saying he likes scented candles and has watched Sex and the City — how does he know he’s not a woman? And if his mother’s a woman, and his wife is a woman, and “the boy who sits down and says, ‘I think I’m a girl’” is a woman, what is a woman?

“Great question,” Comfrey replies with a nod, before dismounting to the surprise ending. “I’m not a woman. So I can’t really answer that.”

What matters about these two scenes? The store owner Sucher, who admits to being old and set in his ways, and may really be transphobic in the actual sense of the term, is nonetheless able to answer the film’s key question in simple language.

To reach that person, to change that person’s mind, someone has to come up with a way to reach him in equally plain language. But the most well-meaning intellectual in the movie, Comfrey — by far the most sympathetic trans advocate Walsh interviews — has a website composed in an Amazonian jungle thicket of anti-language that even I have a hard time penetrating, and not only can’t answer Walsh’s simple question but ultimately declines to do so on the grounds that even a person born female (or assigned female at birth, if you like) like Comfrey is not qualified to answer it.

The civil rights movement was won in courts, but also by simple force of argument. We’re all human beings, and loving one another, as Martin Luther King put it, is our “basic Christian command.” That simple message moved people over time. The gay rights movement similarly earned wide acceptance in part because the public believed research about the immutability of orientation, and took in the work of people like psychologist Evelyn Hooker, which showed gay people were not suffering from a pathology, and therefore not afflicted with a disorder that needed curing. Minds were opened by these simple truths.

The message of What is a Woman? is not only are there no simple answers to the questions and reservations felt by millions of ordinary people about “gender affirmation” (including huge numbers of Democrats, as polls in places like Florida show), but the movie shows academic after academic and activist after activist seething at the mere implication that they should have to explain themselves. Their attitude is positively medieval: ‘We keep the Bible in Latin for a reason!”

They invent new nomenclature almost daily (making a priesthood of interpreting academics central to the new religion). The problem is to the uninformed, all the “simple truths” seem to run in the other direction, like that it sure doesn’t look like fair competition when swimmer Lia Thomas massacres polls full of assigned-at-birth-girls. If you’ve been on Twitter you’ve seen it, but in the movie there’s a real interview with a real professor who goes ape when Walsh invokes the word truth, which “sounds transphobic” to Herr professor:

It’s as if these interview subjects believe winning over people who don’t already agree with them is not only not important, but offensive and beneath them. Certainly the subjects in What is a Woman? go out of their way to dismiss as utterly insignificant those who don’t share their worldview.

When Walsh interviews gynecologist Dr. Marci Bowers, he begins by asking, “The critics on the other side of this issue…” He has to pause, because Bowers recoils in exaggerated fashion, shaking her head like a person waked by revolting smelling salts.

“There aren’t many,” she scoffs. “But go ahead.”

“There aren’t many who would disagree with what you’re saying?”

“Well, the dinosaurs of the world are certainly out there.”

Meanwhile Walsh, whom I’ve followed a little and with whom I often violently disagree on all sorts of issues, including this one (he for instance tweeted that it should be illegal for any doctor to do transition surgery at any age), made a conscious decision in What is a Woman? to aim the movie at people with differing views.

“We definitely wanted to present the story in a way that would reach as wide an audience as possible without compromising the central message of the film,” he told me. “We want this to get outside of the conservative podcast audience bubble. I think so far it has.”

On the other hand, the center-left media world has so been brutal to people from their own ranks who’ve tried to raise questions about what by any estimation is an incredibly difficult subject, that nothing like such a film could ever be made on that side. “The Daily Wire is perhaps one of the few places able to make a documentary like this today,” is how biologist Colin Wright puts it.

I’m thinking not just of Dansky, but of people like Katie Herzog, a lesbian writer/podcaster who’s been ostracized ever since writing an empathetic piece on “detransitioners” in The Stranger five years ago called “They Were Transgender Until They Weren’t.” Herzog hosts a successful podcast called Blocked and Reportedwith Singal, but is still regularly denounced as a transphobe in papers like The Washington Post, while her broadcast partner seems to have had more articles written about his supposed transphobia than all the world’s actual transphobes combined. Singal has an entire page of sins outlined in GLAAD’s “accountability project,” where he was granted a place in the unofficial blacklist next to the likes of Donald Trump, Franklin Graham, and Kid Rock.

When I asked people like Herzog, Dansky, Singal, and a handful of other media figures who’ve gotten in the soup over this issue about Walsh’s movie, there was positivity, with caveats. On the plus side, a common observation was the movie was skillfully done. Walsh’s opening sequences — which show him looking stone-faced and miserable as he recites platitudes about the joys of parenting, or taking a pensive man-walk with a fishing pole into an idyllic Bob Ross-like pond landscape before admitting he sucks at fishing — got good reviews, as one writer commented, “It sent a signal from the start that he took himself less seriously than the people he interviewed.”

On the negative side, there were a few comments about a scene in which Walsh showed his wife asking him to help open a jar being representative of his views on women. More importantly there was frustration that a lot of people, women especially, who’ve taken a lot of heat over the years for speaking up have to sit back and watch people like Walsh and Chris Rufo take credit for pushing these issues into the mainstream. A number of people also suggested that a documentary produced by the Daily Wire, even if well done,automatically had no chance of changing the minds of mainstream Democrats (see Dansky’s interview for a version of this argument). But overall, I’d say these figures rated the movie a net plus.

Some, whether prompted or unprompted, took issue with some Walsh views not presented in the movie. When I asked Herzog about the idea that transition should always be illegal, she said, “Hard disagree… I think for adults there’s a basic question of autonomy, and though the research is weaker than people admit there’s some evidence the treatments help,” she said. “For kids the research is way shakier and the assessment process should be very intense.” As to the movie itself: “I thought the movie was pretty well done but he definitely ignored the many, many feminists who’ve been fighting this.”

Wright said, “I think it did a great job highlighting just how radical gender ideology is. It is not simply pseudoscience, but is anti-science as it fundamentally rejects the notion of a stable and discoverable material reality.” He added, “Gender ideology views truth as something that is literally socially constructed by language, and therefore rejects the notion of ‘The Truth’ in favor of relativistic notions of ‘your truth’ and ‘my truth.’”

That latter point gets back to what I think is an emerging political problem for Democrats in general, who ahead of crucial midterm elections continue to lose ground on an educational issue that a) is crucial to House races, and b) they’ve traditionally dominated. Polls show they’re dropping from a historical 20, 30, even 40-point lead to the statistical margin of error this spring, in part because of this issue. There is a perception that these relatively new controversies have been declared undebatable, by a priesthood of experts who feel above talking to the unwashed.

The reaction to Walsh’s movie on the Twittersphere has been predictable, with lots of denunciations of the bearded filmmaker as a fascist bigot, but relatively few efforts to answer the film’s question (which, humorously, would end the entire controversy). My favorite response to date was an angry suggestion by blue-check Substacker Ben Dreyfuss: “Are you saying eunuchs shouldn’t be allowed to castrate themselves?”

I mean, I guess they should be, but most eunuchs in history had someone do it for them, and those stories aren’t exactly happy ones, for anyone but certain very fanatic music lovers. But I digress.

It’ll be easy enough for mainstream critics to ignore this film, and they will. In a democracy, though, at some point you have to answer the population’s questions in a way that makes sense to them. Otherwise, they will flock to the first person who does offer a comprehensible answer. I saw this with the financial crisis, where candidates like Hillary Clinton tried incomprehensibly to blame 2008 on “shadow banking,” offenders who by an extraordinary coincidence didn’t overlap with any of the roughly ten million financial institutions who’d paid her millions in speaking fees. The public had dealt with banks firsthand and didn’t buy it, believing Donald Trump more when he pointed the finger at firms like Goldman, Sachs.

Ignoring popular discontent or confusion on principle isn’t a strategy that can ever work, for any political movement. Walsh’s movie exposes this, and give him credit — he got the people inclined to hate him the most to make his arguments for him.

* * *

North Main Street, Fort Bragg, showing the Western Hotel and the Presbyterian Church. (Kelley House Museum)

* * *

ON THIS DAY in 1865, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, General in Chief of the United States Army, issued the following farewell address to the rapidly demobilizing Federal forces.

General Orders,

War Dept., Adjt. General’s Office, Number 108.

Washington, D.C., June 2, 1865

Soldiers of the Armies of the United States:

By your patriotic devotion to your country in the hour of danger and alarm – your magnificent fighting, bravery, and endurance – you have maintained the supremacy of the Union and the Constitution, overthrown all armed opposition to the enforcement of the laws, and of the proclamation forever abolishing slavery – the cause and pretext of the rebellion – and opened the way to the rightful authorities to restore order and inaugurate peace on a permanent and enduring basis on every foot of American soil.

Your marches, sieges and battles, in distance, duration, resolution and brilliancy of result dim the luster of the world’s past military achievements, and will be the patriot’s precedent in defense of liberty and right in all time to come.

In obedience to your country’s call you left your homes and families and volunteered in its defense. Victory has crowned your valor and secured the purpose of your patriotic hearts, and with the gratitude of your countrymen, and the highest honors a great and free nation can accord, you will soon be permitted to return to your homes and families conscious of having discharged the highest duties of American citizens.

To achieve these glorious triumphs, and secure to yourselves, your fellow countrymen, and posterity the blessings of free institutions, tens of thousands of your gallant comrades have fallen and sealed the priceless legacy with their lives. The graves of these, a grateful nation bedews with tears, honors their memories, and will ever cherish and support their stricken families.

U.S. Grant, Lieutenant General

* * *

Women Trainees, LAPD, 1948

* * *


This episode is the second of a two-part series called The Long Road Home, looking at the hurdles placed before those those who leave prison and struggle to reenter society.

by Chris Hedges

Today in Part Two of The Long Road Home we look at the numerous hurdles faced by prisoners released into society, the toll on their families, the importance of educational programs in restoring self-esteem and setting goals and the difficult process of even being granted parole. We begin by speaking with Russ Owen, who spent 32 years in prison, the day he was released from East Jersey State Prison, as well as his mother, Mae Owen, along with four other former prisoners, Boris Franklin, who spent 11 years in prison, Ron Pierce, who spent 30 years in prison, Robert Luma, whose nickname is Kabir and who spent 16 years in prison, and Thomas Dollard, who spent 30 years in prison. All were my students in the college degree program offered to prisoners in the New Jersey State prison system by Rutgers University. Collectively, they spent 119 years in prison.

* * *

Caspar Lumber Store and Steam Engine, 1938


  1. Rye N Flint June 9, 2022

    What is equity?

    “In 2020, Mendocino County was awarded $2.2 million from the Cannabis Equity Grants Program for Local Jurisdictions which is being administered by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). In addition, the Board of Supervisor’s allocated $100,000 matching grant dollars to support our local Cannabis Equity Program which aims to provide funding and services for those hardest hit by the War on Drugs by lowering barriers to cannabis permitting and licensing. Mendocino County has contracted with Elevate Impact Mendocino to assist with Administration of the Grant Program including grant application processing. Please see our Equity Grant Program Website for more details about Mendocino County’s Cannabis Equity Program Eligibility and Services.”

    “LEEP Designees can apply for up to $50,000 in Direct Grants (disbursed in up to two $25,000 tranches at the discretion of the grant recipient)”

    Let say that every recipient received the full amount, and also assume that the matching $100k from Mendo county has already been blown developing the webpage using 3rd party consultants. $2.2 million divided by $50,000 leaves 44 people eligible for funds. I have a friend that was eligible because she was assaulted by one of her workers, She was told she would receive the fee waivers for the next year… Wow. Super cool. I’d love to see some stories about how much this grant has helped the cannabis community. Some testimonials maybe? Or just the numbers on how many have received these grants, and how much money has been allocated?

    • Rye N Flint June 9, 2022

      “Suggested activities include (but are not limited to):

      Water storage for irrigation during forbearance periods of surface water diversion required by state or local regulations;
      Remediation and relocation of cannabis facilities located within stream side setbacks required by state or local regulation;
      Installation of solar electrical systems to replace diesel or gasoline generator power for off-grid cannabis facilities where connecting to the grid is economically infeasible.
      Road remediation, watershed mitigation, culverts or infrastructure needed to meet state or local regulations.
      Grants for the purpose of employment skill training for eligible equity participants or seeking employment in licensed cannabis operations in Mendocino County.
      General business purposes including: (1) Technical assistance or professional services including consultants providing CEQA analysis and Appendix G development, biological studies, bookkeeping, accounting, legal, insurance requirements; (2) business location procurement prior to or during the application process (i.e., rent and/or lease assistance); (3) assistance in required trainings such as Cal OSHA.
      Purchase Insurance"

      • Rye N Flint June 9, 2022

        I know one person who received the $50k from the grant. They had to lie to their bank about what the money was for, so that the feds wouldn’t shut down their bank account (still federally illegal, banks are Federally insured). The ultimate middle finger was, they had to pay $14k in personal income taxes on that $50k…

  2. Randy June 9, 2022

    Okay Joe, you absolutely 18 pound sledge hammered the “nail on the head”. Darn, I like this AVA site more each day.

  3. Rye N Flint June 9, 2022

    EVs VS Gas Prices

    Now that gas prices reflect the actual cost of removing tar sands oil, EVs are starting to look really attractive to a lot more people. I see lots of people blaming Biden for the high gas prices, but not the Oil Companies or Dick tater Putin though. What do I expect from a dysfunctional two party system beholden to Corporate lobby groups? A puppet president to throw tomatoes at… thats what!

    So what will it be y’all? We the People or We the Corporations?

    Also… Not all EVs have to be brand new. They make conversion kits for your old polluter.

  4. Eric Sunswheat June 9, 2022

    RE: Ford claims to have hundreds of thousands of reservations for this F150, so many that they can’t keep up with demand. However, a column in the WSJ a few weeks ago made the claim that 70% of Americans have less than $400 in the bank, and live week to week on $500 per week. Ford competitor Rivian in Indianapolis originally priced their EV truck at $67,500, but has since raised the cost to $83,500… In addition there is a required $15,500 subscription payable over 5 years.

    ->. Darn, I’ve got refundable deposits for both Ford and Rivian.

    Maybe I will have to wait for the Toyota SolTerra EV partially made in China and Japan instead, or its collaborative twin from Subaru.

    Another option is the Ford BMW joint partnership funded solid state battery technology capable to be produced on existing Lithium battery manufacturing equipment, emerging in 2024.

    That is unless gasoline crushes to $35 gallon, and I have to secure what option I have, perhaps an e-bike and then park gasoline car as a tiny townhouse Additional Dwelling Unit.

  5. Whyte Owen June 9, 2022

    Kudos for the donors and graduates at AV high. This year the Gualala Community Center was pleased to award eight scholarships to graduates of Point Arena High School. These were funded by our biweekly Pay n Take sales.

  6. Chuck Dunbar June 9, 2022


    Jim Seals, of Seals and Crofts—musicians from the early 70’s—passed away this week. Their sweet songs, “Summer Breeze” and “Diamond Girl,” live on vividly from my young life back then.

    “Diamond Girl” especially brings to mind one of the singular musical memories—those memories we all have of a special time and place, triggered by a song—of my life. I was traveling from my home in San Diego to Mendocino in 1973 or 74, on a trip to visit a girlfriend. At sunset, just as I came to Highway 1, going up the hill south of Albion to that glorious first vision of the Pacific, “Diamond Girl” began to play. A few drum beats, then those gorgeous ringing guitar chords, a song celebrating a gem of a woman. It was a beatific moment I’ve never forgotten. So I fondly recall this lovely song and give my thanks to Jim Seals and his partner in music .

  7. Jim Armstrong June 9, 2022

    Maybe I am just grumpy this afternoon, but damn it Taibbi is one wordy son-of-a-gun. He wears out my scroll button.
    Then it is Hedges with what looks like an interesting piece, but requires a subscription of an indeterminable amount.

    So now it is on to the House hearing and almost certain disappointment.

  8. Marmon June 9, 2022

    Watching the Jan. 6 hearing, what a “cut and paste” Schiff show, I liken it to the AVAs daily MCT online addition. I wonder how long it’s going to take until certain individuals who were interviewed to challege the “Schiff Show” for having their statements taken out of context.


    • Marmon June 9, 2022


      “Hooray for Hollywood
      That screwy ballyhooey Hollywood
      Where any office boy or young mechanic can be a panic
      With just a good looking pan
      And any barmaid can be a star maid
      If she dances with or without a fan
      Hooray for Hollywood,
      Where you’re terrific if you’re even good
      Where anyone at all from Shirley Temple to Aimee Semple
      Is equally understood
      Go out and try your luck, you might be Donald Duck
      Hooray for Hollywood
      Hooray for Hollywood
      That phoney super-Coney Hollywood
      They come from Chillicothes and Paducas with their bazookas
      To get their names up in lights
      All armed with photos from local rotos
      With their hair in ribbon and legs in tights
      Hooray for Hollywood
      You may be homely in your neighbourhood
      But if you think that you can be an actor, see Mr. Factor
      He’ll make a monkey look good
      Within a half an hour you’ll look like Tyrone Power
      Hooray for Hollywood
      Hooray for Hollywood”


    • Chuck Dunbar June 9, 2022

      Keep your mind open and curious, James. Seek the truth– it shall set you free.

    • sam kircher June 9, 2022

      Almost leads one to reconsider watching/reading/commenting

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