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Mendocino County Today: Friday, July 8, 2022

Interior Warming | Lost Dog | Yard Sale | Ring Found | Juror Shortage | Hummingbird | Living Wage | McGuire Visit | Flora Buchanan | Mendo Tours | ALRFD BBQ | Mice Proliferating | Pesticide Ban | Art Exchange | Card Thief | Ed Notes | Bourns/Hunts | Antisemitic Flyers | August Mendoza | Snowball Investigation | Windy Order | Consolidation Transition | Metal Art | Whereas Tax | Voodoo Park | Pig Crossing | Adventist v Anthem | Roadwork Scheduled | Yesterday's Catch | Ukraine | Goodbye Lithuania | Pulitzer Propagandists | Bug Diet | With WiFi | Capitalism Flaws | Good Americans | President Custer | Penal Planet | BoJo's Fall | Completely Agree | Putin's Warning | Blackberry Cycle

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GRADUAL WARMING will continue for the interior into the weekend with areas of triple digit heat likely by Sunday. Thin stratus along the coast should quickly clear out again today with a short lived, deeper marine layer likely to form for Saturday. (NWS)

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Our sweet family dog, Kobe, went missing from our Philo property 3 days ago. He wandered off while on a walk with the kids and hasn’t been seen since. He walks with a limp and is very friendly (despite his looks).

Please, please let us know if you or someone you know may have seen him: Mollie Ann Camacho.

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The greatest yard sale on the Coast! Saturday, July 9 from 8:00AM to 4:00PM at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

The Friends of the Gardens annual Pack Rat Sale is noted for quality items, fair prices, and friendly service. Finds include everything from garden supplies and household goods to antiques and collectibles. This annual fundraiser has earned its recognition as the "greatest garage sale on the coast". All of the proceeds benefit the Botanical Gardens.

Parking is limited, please carpool
Early arrivals have the best selection of items
Arriving later to benefit from price reductions throughout the day

Thanks for your support of the Gardens and the greatest yard sale on the Coast!

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If you can tell us what’s on it and it’s correct...we’ll give it back to you.

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FORT BRAGG CITY COUNCILMAN LINDY PETERS has a solution to the juror shortage problem described by Mike Geniella in yesterday’s daily collection:

Trouble getting jurors to show-up? Here’s an idea. Since Mendocino County has policies in place to reduce the carbon footprint, let’s follow their own policy. Instead of 30-40 people from the coast driving over to Ukiah in their individual vehicles to show-up for jury pool selection (some times 2-3 days in a row), why not do this? Get a county van. Get the judge, two attorneys and the clerk recorder together and just drive one vehicle over to the coast? We could go through jury selection right here at the 10 mile courtroom and nobody would begrudgingly have to drive 116 miles during a 3 hour round-trip on a curvy, dangerous road. Makes total sense. Maybe too much sense for County officials. I suggested this from the jury box during jury selection last time and was IMMEDIATELY dismissed. Other coastal folks in the crowded room were buzzing as I made my way to the exit.

LEW CHICHESTER of Covelo agreed:

Lindy Peters has the local court problem sorted out. We used to have a “Justice Court” in Covelo, probably in other places as well. A judge, court reporter, assistant DA and a public defender would show up from Ukiah and take care of the local legal business. Maybe once a month. We even had jury trials. And a lot fewer faces on the lawman’s log for “failure to appear.” This was a much more efficient and fair system for us out here, but all that went away quite awhile ago. All centralized in Ukiah now but it seems like it’s not working out all that well as time goes by. Bring back the local courts.

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Larry R. Wagner: No need to go to the tropics to see colorful flowers and birds. This Rufous hummingbird was doing its thing in our garden today.

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Agenda Item 5c: “Discussion and Possible Action Regarding General Support of a Living Wage Ordinance Concept to Help Low Wage Workers Earn an Hourly Wage Sufficient to Live with Dignity and to Achieve Economic Self-Sufficiency, and Direction to Supervisor Williams to Incorporate Specific Ideas from the Discussion. (Sponsor: Supervisor Williams) 

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FORT BRAGG MAYOR BERNIE NORVELL on Senator McGuire’s photo op visit to Mendocino County on Tuesday:

I met with the Senator as well on Tuesday. We walked and talked our way through the downtown. He and I discussed mental health services and the obstacles to providing those services. I bragged about our CRU van and the difference our service is already making in our community. We talked about the possible benefits to the proposed CARE Court and the high threshold for conservatorship. Personally I could have taken another two hours on the subject but I appreciate him reaching out and hearing our concerns and achievements.

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Flora Buchanan, Greenwood, 1907

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by Kelley House Museum staff

Walking or sitting, you will pick up some fascinating facts in two new tours for history lovers at the Kelley House Museum. David and Katy Tahja, a team of Kelley House docents from Comptche, have developed tours about the areas of Mendocino history that interest each of them most. Beginning on July 10th, David will lead a two-hour walking tour called “Stump to Ship: Logging in Mendocino” on the second Sunday of every month at 11:00 am. Katy will offer “Armchair History Tours” by appointment.

As a Mendocino walking tour guide, David is often asked “Why did people settle here?” The answer, as we locals know, is big trees: cutting them down and turning them into lumber. This was very important during California’s gold rush boom and subsequent development, and continues to be a factor in the local economy even today. 

The “Stump to Ship” tour begins inside the Kelley House Museum with a short slide show featuring archival photos showing the process of felling a tree, milling the wood at the Mendocino Lumber Company sawmill on Big River, hauling the milled lumber out to the point, and loading it onto ships. David narrates the slide show, then leads a walk along the Mendocino Headlands to help guests visualize the operation. 

David is uniquely qualified to recount this history as a third-generation logger who has held a variety of jobs in the timber industry. His grandfather Matti had a logging camp blacksmith shop beginning in 1884, and his father Andrew was born in the Berry Gulch logging camp in 1907. David knows his trees and logger lingo.  

David & Katy Tahja

Journalist and local historian Katy Tahja has been a docent in the Kelley House for more than a decade. Visitors frequently tell her they would love to know more about Mendocino’s history, but are physically unable to manage a two-hour walk around town. So she came up with a solution: we’ll sit in the parlor and chat. The armchair tour will take place while you’re seated by the Kelley House windows with a good view of the headlands and town. It will cover roughly the same information as a historic Mendocino walking tour, but with less exertion. 

Katy is also able to customize her tour to provide information specific to the guest’s areas of interest. For example, she’s a gold mine of information on the logging railroads of the redwood coast. She also knows quite a bit about the night life in Mendocino back in its heyday. Not through experience, we hasten to say, but from books. Her tour is by reservation only, but she’s retired and has a flexible schedule.

𝘉𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 “𝘚𝘵𝘶𝘮𝘱 𝘵𝘰 𝘚𝘩𝘪𝘱” 𝘢𝘯𝘥 “𝘈𝘳𝘮𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘪𝘳 𝘏𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺” 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 $20 𝘱𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘣𝘺 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘳 𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘒𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘺 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘵 𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘭𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘒𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘺 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦, 𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘷𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘵 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘸𝘦𝘣 𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘢𝘵

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RONNIE JAMES: This time of year mice are proliferating, a new litter every two months, the damp weather is bringing them into our houses more. If we use poison bait in the house or in our gardens for mole/gopher/mouse control, the poisoned rodent staggers out into the world and is easily caught by not only a cat or dog, but the many night critters including owls (or daytime hawks), and they die too. Secondary poisoning is a major problem in our area.

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Enjoy refreshments and meet the Mendocino Coast artists exhibiting as part of the Mendocino Sister City International Art Exchange. Sister City Association President Jim Jackson will give an opening statement, Mike Evans will talk about being one of the founders of the Art Exchange, and Carolyn Zeitler will share how the Art Exchange is coordinated between Japan and the Mendocino Coast. The Omachi-Miasa, Japan artists will also give a short welcome via video.


Continuing through September 11, daily 11am-4pm

The Mendocino Art Center presents artwork by nine artists from the Omachi-Miasa area in Nagano Prefecture, Japan, joined by thirteen Mendocino Coast artists, as part of this biennial exhibit. Works include woodworking, functional and sculptural ceramics, textiles, paintings, glass works, photography, jewelry, encaustics, basketry, prints and mixed media works.

More information:

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DOES ANYONE RECOGNIZE THIS PERSON? They stole my nieces card & withdrew $2,030.00 from her account. These pictures were taken on: 7/2/22. She is offering a Reward if you can identify this person.

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POWER WAS OUT in the Anderson Valley from 12:45 until 3:25pm Thursday afternoon. The PG&E recording said 2215 of us were severed from the outside world, and oh what a relief it was as the incoming din was stilled for a couple of hours. 

THE OUTAGE was explained only as a possible tree limb on a power line, which is kinda odd given that PG&E's Texas subcontractors have been de-limbing the entire county for months now. How many limbs can still be menacing power lines?

WE HAVE SINCE learned that a line was down on the Vista Ranch, which is, by my hazy calculations, maybe two miles a little north and a little east of Boonville.

AND THIS AFTERNOON'S outage is only the prelim for a prolonged scheduled outage tonight from 10pm until 6am Friday morning.

AGREE TOTALLY with both Lindy Peters and Lew Chichester in their suggestions to make the courts more responsive to the public they allegedly serve. In living fact, we serve the nine of them.

IT WOULD be laughable if the present, wildly inconvenient (except for them) Ukiah-based court system didn't cause the general public so much inconvenience and travel time, never more onerous than right now with fuel prices at extortionate levels.

GIVEN THEIR LORDLY SALARIES, one would think the Superior Court would come to us. Nope, they're wed to the annual thousands of us coming to the 9 of them and, dooming us to their convenience forever, with no vote, they're deep in the process of erecting a brand new County Courthouse in Ukiah just for themselves at the foot of West Perkins. The structure will house no other county offices.

AND SINCE the 9 Mendo judges — more judges proportionately than any comparable population in the state — are totally unaccountable and seldom opposed for re-election — there ain't a damn thing we can do about present arrangements.

THE LAST TIME I appeared for jury duty, the legal hacks, including the judge, all chuckled as the judge said, “You're dismissed, Mr. Anderson.” That was probably thirty years ago, and I've chucked my jury summons ever since. And with the Superior Court now unable to muster juries, which is their own fault, I encourage all of you to similarly ignore summonses until local courts are re-established, improbable as that is.

IF YOU try to communicate with one of their majesties, your letter comes back stamped, “No ex parte communications.”

I WON'T FORGET an irritable little judicial fellow from Covelo named Combest who had the drop-fall nerve to complain that he had to drive on occasion from his home in Covelo to preside at the justice court in Point Arena, making it sound as if he'd just been sentenced to the Gulag salt mines. You want to talk about entitlement, let's start with the Mendocino County court system, an ongoing insult to the people of this county.

THE PRESENT COURT ORGANIZATION was a scam in several parts. New courthouses were established in Fort Bragg and Willits, accompanied by lordly announcements that Coasties would have their matters heard in Fort Bragg; the mountain people of the North and East county would only have to haul themselves to Willits. And then everything was moved to Ukiah.

LAYTONVILLE AND COVELO once had their own courts, of course, as did Point Arena and Boonville. And there were justice courts in Willits, Fort Bragg and Ukiah to handle the everyday misdemeanors. The assumption was that local courts made sense for our far flung population spread over a vast area. 

WAY BACK, murder trials were held in the communities where the murders occurred, and the defendant truly got a jury of his peers.

THE COURTHOUSE in Willits had to have been the ugliest public structure ever erected in Mendocino County until, that is, the new County Courthouse on Perkins that no one, except the judges, wants. 

THE WILLITS Courthouse was soon abandoned as a court when the building began to fall apart, and the judges used that excuse to move Willits court ops to Ukiah.

DITTO for the Fort Bragg Courthouse. Sold as a great convenience to the people of the Mendocino Coast who would no longer have to wipe out an entire day (or days) traveling back and forth to Ukiah, the Fort Bragg apparatus would handle everything out of Fort Bragg.

WHAT HAPPENED? Lots of stuff, especially sensitive matters that made the judge nervous, went to Ukiah for no reason other than the convenience of a handful of highly paid “public servants.” Which is the legal system foisted off on us to this day, unaccountable, immutable.

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The Bourns and Hunts, 1910

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by Ryan Burns

On the morning of July 4, Amy left her house for work and found a ziplock bag in her driveway. Inside the bag she could see a pair of pennies and a sheet of paper folded neatly in half. Printed along the top was a blue Star of David, a red pentagram and a headline in all-caps: “EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF THE COVID AGENDA IS JEWISH.”

Beneath the headline was a list of people, including CDC officials, politicians and business executives, all of whom were identified (or mis-identified, in some cases) as either Jewish or “Shabbos goy,” a Yiddish term for a non-Jew employed by Jews for certain tasks.

“My first thought was, ‘Oh my god, these people are morons. What idiots,’” Amy told the Outpost in a phone interview. But after she thought about it for a moment, she began to wonder whether she’d been specifically targeted. While she considers herself agnostic, Amy is of Ashkenazi heritage and on the Chabad of Humboldt mailing list. (We’re using a pseudonym to protect her identity.

When Amy’s friend took her dog for a walk later that day she spotted two more of the antisemitic flyers that had been places in baggies and tossed in front of people’s homes. Other Arcata residents have since posted photos of the hateful material on social media.

“Went outside today and found ANTISEMITIC propaganda all over my neighborhood,” reads one Instagram post. “Feeling very hurt, scared and confused [right now].”

Photos in the post showed the same distribution method: two flyers, each carefully inserted in a plastic bag along with a pair of pennies, presumably to weigh them down. Printed in the same format as the one Amy found, one claims, “Every single aspect of the Biden administration is Jewish” while another says, “Every single aspect of Disney child grooming is Jewish.” 

Teresa Drenick, deputy regional director for the Central Pacific region of the Anti-Defamation League, is quite familiar with the spread of these bigoted baggies.

“We are seeing that happen all over California and pretty much all over the United States at this point,” Drenick said when reached by phone on Wednesday. The organization behind the flyers has been identified and extensively researched by the ADL, but the Outpost has chosen not to identify it or the people behind it since they so clearly crave such attention and use it to recruit other lost souls into their hate-filled ideology.

“The stunt is the work of a cowardly group that espouses white supremacist themes and Holocaust denial,” Drenick said. “It’s known to focus its hatred and vitriol toward the Jewish community and other marginalized communities — oftentimes the LGBTQ-plus community as well.”

Based in Northern California, the group is “small and fringe,” a loosely knit group of individuals that has nevertheless managed to distribute its materials in communities from Florida to Texas, California and beyond, according to reports compiled by the ADL. The group’s aim, Drenick said, is to intimidate and sow fear in the community.

The ADL conducts an annual audit of antisemitic incidents for each of its regional divisions as well as the country as a whole, and Drenick said the numbers have never been higher. The organization’s Central Pacific region, which includes Northern California, Utah and Hawaii, saw a 27 percent increase last year, seeing 367 reports of antisemitic incidents including harassment, vandalism and assault.

Here in Northern California, the Jewish community encountered “a persistent drumbeat of hatred,” Drenick said. Last year there were 70 reported incidents of antisemitism in the region, including 28 instances of vandalism and 42 cases of targeted harassment, both online and in person — “everything from swastikas being spray-painted on the walls of places of worship and schools to people being directly targeted.”

Nationwide, the organization documented 2,717 antisemitic incidents last year — the highest figure on record since the ADL started tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979.

The flyer Amy received is indicative of one aspect within this larger trend — a rise in antisemitic reactions to some of the public health measures implemented in response to the COVID pandemic. By way of example, Drenick pointed to recent incidents that took place in our NorCal neighbor, Siskiyou County.

Last summer, four of that county’s supervisors participated in a public demonstration protesting the state’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. A number of attendees wore yellow Stars of David, which Jews were forced to wear in Nazi-occupied Europe. 

“The exploitation of the yellow star as political prop is entirely inappropriate,” Drenick said. The comparison between a measure aimed at protecting public health and the horrors of Holocaust serves to minimize those atrocities and is itself an form of antisemitism, she added, noting that swastikas have likewise been invoked by many protesting public health measures.

Amy wound up reporting the flyer in her driveway to the Arcata Police Department, which Drenick said is a good idea. While the distribution of hate speech is not in itself a crime (unless there’s a specific incitement to violence), such incidents are still worth reporting.

“Any police agency wants and needs to be very aware of hate-related activity taking place in the community it protects,” Drenick said.

An Arcata police officer stopped by Amy’s house on Tuesday to collect the flyer and take a report. Amy’s neighbor captured security camera footage of the car she believes was driven by the culprit, and she turned that over to the police as well. 

A message at the bottom of the flyer says, “These flyers were distributed randomly without malicious intent.” It may well be true that they were randomly distributed, but Amy isn’t buying the claim about an absence of malicious intent. 

“It’s a little threatening,” she said. “It’s meant to make people like me feel unwelcome and unsafe.”

Arcata Police Chief Brian Ahearn told the Outpost via email that the agency is in the early stages of an investigation into the flyers and “evaluating if there is a criminal nexus.”

Drenick said that in addition to notifying law enforcement, anyone who receives such material should report it to the ADL via its website to help the organization track such actions. 

Amy said it’s important for the public to be made aware of such things, too.

“The whole thing is so sad and really embarrassing, to be somebody who does that — it’s just so cringey and lame, but it’s sad,” she said. “I feel like it’s worth making a big fuss and reporting it because people should know this is out there. Even in Humboldt there are people who are both stupid and hateful.”

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August Mendoza, 1952

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SNOWBALL UPDATE – Ukiah Police Completing Cat Trapping Inquiry

by Justine Frederiksen

Following the return of a cat the owner believes was trapped and relocated, the Ukiah Police Department reports that it is completing its investigation and intends to forward the findings to the Mendocino County District’s Attorney’s Office to review.

Ukiah resident Aphrael Dunston said one of her family’s cats Snowball went missing March 19, and while looking for him she found another of her cats in a trap in the back of a truck parked at her neighbor’s house. Dunston said she freed the second cat, then confronted the owner of the vehicle and called the police.

When a Community Services Officer responded, Dunston said she was told it is not illegal to trap a stray animal which enters your property, as long as you then take them to an animal shelter. However, Dunston said both Snowball and the other cat were “clearly not strays, as they had collars and were well-fed.”

In early April, UPD Lt. Andy Phillips said he could not reveal many details about the case as it was an active investigation, but “we are attempting to determine if there were any violations. If so, we will submit the report to the (Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office) for review.”

Last week, Snowball was returned to his family by people who found the cat near their home at the Greenfield Ranch and took him in. When asked for an update on the UPD’s investigation into allegations that Snowball had been trapped and relocated, Lt. Phillips Tuesday said the officer in charge of the case was “further documenting the information surrounding the return of the cat and this report will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for review and possible prosecution. I am aware there were, and are, a lot of emotions surrounding this case, but the bottom line is we cannot and do not use emotions… as a way to factually prove elements of a crime.

“The UPD is very thankful that Snowball was reunited with his owners, and we will do our part to provide a thorough and factual investigation to the District Attorney’s Office,” Phillips continued. “It will be up to them to decide if criminal charges will be filed.”

He noted that “anyone who traps a feline within the city of Ukiah can contact our department to have it transported to the Animal Shelter, or can contact the Animal Shelter to seek guidance from them. Of course if the feline has a collar or some sort of identifying information, the person should attempt to contact the owner. The Humane Society has some very helpful information regarding free-roaming cats, trapping and information for cat owners regarding how to avoid your pet being trapped.”

Another neighbor of Dunston, who asked that his name not be used, said one of his cats — a long-haired, gray and white tuxedo cat — also went missing in mid-March. Although his cat had still not been found as of Wednesday, he said that he feels much more hopeful since Snowball has returned.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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(Board’s failure to plan comes back to bite them…)

Date: July 5, 2022

To: Honorable Board of Supervisors

From: Chamise Cubbison, Acting Auditor-Controller

Re: Expedited Consolidation of the offices of the Auditor-Controller and Treasurer Tax-Collector 

Due to the recent unanticipated retirements of Treasurer Tax-Collector Schapmire and Acting Treasurer Tax-Collector Forrester, there has developed an urgent need to expedite the consolidation of the offices of the Auditor-Controller and Treasurer Tax-Collector nearly six months earlier than anticipated. There is an immediate need to be able to conduct the financial business of the County. Both Acting Treasurer Tax-Collector Gordon and I have been experiencing trouble transferring authority to conduct the financial affairs of the County with the Acting titles. In order to resolve those issues and be able to move other time sensitive processes forward, the Board needs to take action to make an appointment or move up the consolidation. 

As the Acting Auditor-Controller and the Auditor-Controller Treasurer Tax-Collector Elect, I would like to clarify why I am not releasing a plan for the consolidation of the offices of the Auditor-Controller and Treasurer Tax-Collector. I have given the consolidation considerable thought and reached out to other Counties that have gone through consolidation. However, I am not prepared to put forth a plan without having had the opportunity to meet with staff in the Treasurer Tax-Collector’s office and to have further discussions with other Counties. In my opinion, it would be premature to presume that I have all the answers. 

Both the Auditor-Controller and Treasurer Tax-Collector’s offices are short staffed and have critical deadlines fast approaching. The recent departures of Treasurer Tax-Collector and the Acting Treasurer Tax-Collector took place with very little warning and preparation of staff. My immediate concern is to provide support wherever possible and to assure staff that they will not be left adrift. I feel strongly that both offices need the stability of a leader that they see working with them to help shore up the resources of the offices, seeking to learn from others and looking for ways to improve processes without reinventing the wheel, while also being a sounding board and safe place to voice concerns. 

To that end, if the Board moves forward with the consolidated position now, I plan to meet with staff to learn about current roles, responsibilities, and workloads, to educate myself on the requirements of the office and to conduct hiring where possible. I will make additional inquiries of other Counties to learn about their processes/procedures and their suggestions on how best to proceed with as little disruption as possible, while continuing to conduct the business of both offices and providing services to the various agencies that hold their funds in the County Treasury and to the public that may be conducting business with the offices involved. 

I request the Board’s patience, understanding and support during this transition and appreciate the past and continued support of other County departments as we move these offices forward together. 

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THE LANGUAGE the Supervisors are proposing for the recent approve plan to put a 1/4-cent sales tax proposal on November’s ballot:

“This Board deems it appropriate to adopt an ordinance, pursuant to the County’s taxing authority, to impose a Essential Services Transactions (Sales) and Use Tax on retail transactions in the unincorporated and incorporated areas of the County of Mendocino in order to generate revenue that will be placed in the general fund to support general County services and functions, including but not limited to, fire protection services.”

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Accompanying resolution:


WHEREAS, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors has asked the voters, at the November 2022 election, to approve a sales tax in the amount of one quarter cent (0.25%) for a period of ten (10) years; and 

WHEREAS, the proposed sales tax is a general tax, and may legally be used for any valid county purpose and as such it may not be obvious to the public or future boards why the additional revenues are needed or how the Board of Supervisors intends to spend them; and 

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors believes that the voters need this information in order to make a fully informed and responsible decision but wanted to avoid statements in the ordinance that might mislead voters into believing that the funds would be legally restricted; and 

WHEREAS, over the last several years, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors has begun to provide direct financial assistance to local fire protection agencies, which are struggling to keep up with the historic level of wildfires, an erosion of available resources and volunteers, increasing costs of providing emergency medical services, and other challenges; and 

WHEREAS, these agencies routinely respond to emergencies outside of their borders, and the services provided by these agencies are of critical importance to all residents and visitors of Mendocino County; and 

WHEREAS, needs and challenges facing Mendocino County fire protection agencies are expected to increase, but the financial assistance that Mendocino County is capable of providing will not, absent a new revenue stream; and 

WHEREAS, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors wishes to create additional revenue sources for these services, and to create political accountability for any future boards that might consider reducing the spending in this area to support other governmental functions. 


It is the intent of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to use any new revenues from the proposed sales tax to fund fire protection and prevention, with 90% of the new revenue to be spent on direct aid to those agencies providing direct fire protection services and 10% to assist in fire prevention, resiliency and readiness efforts. 

The Board intends that the 90% used for direct aid to agencies providing direct fire protection services be allocated in the same manner as the Board has allocated Proposition 172 funds. Specifically, 40% of the 90% (36% of the total new revenue) will be distributed evenly among local agencies, with the remaining 60% (54% of total) allocated based on relative population size of those agencies. The Board further intends that the 10% for fire prevention, resiliency and readiness may be spent through such fire safe councils or other organizations as are best able to meet the needs of Mendocino County. 

Should the proposed tax be enacted, the Board of Supervisors requests that the independently elected Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax-Collector provide, pursuant to Government Code section 29044, a public report to the Board of Supervisors including the portion of projected revenue for the upcoming fiscal year attributable to the one quarter cent (0.25%) sales tax increase. 

Every year after the effective date of this Resolution, the Board intends that all revenues and expenditures will be reviewed by Board of Supervisors and will be available to review by the public through the County's budget document and website.. 

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ESTHER MOBLEY: A beer-theme water park is coming to Napa, the advertisements announced, with a rollercoaster made of reclaimed beer barrels, a 25,000-watt concert stage and a wave pool filled with 130,000 gallons of hazy IPA.

But plans for the Voodoo Ranger IPA Action Park, whose website promises it’s “coming soon to Napa,” are not real, as far as county officials can tell. It may be an elaborate ad campaign by its parent company, Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing — though the company, which did not respond to multiple requests for comment, still hasn’t broken character.

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by H. Weston Drumheller

This morning I was roused out of a sound and rare sleep by my wife blowing her nose. It was 2:18am. With our 1.25 year old enduring the trials of cutting teeth, we haven't been getting really great sleep for some time now, so being jolted out of a really quality slumber was truly annoying. Generally if I wake up before the alarm I don't tend to fall back asleep as my mind begins tracing over the things I need to worry about. The thought of being up today starting at 2:18 was not a happy one, which only contributed to my angst and foiled the possibility of my getting back to sleep. 

At 4:02 I looked at the clock and got out of bed, took a shower, shaved, got dressed in my khaki pants and a stripped dress shirt, pulled on my boots, put on my Carharts jacket, my hat and slipped out as quietly as I could. The door hinge on the front door squeaked as I stepped into the misty morning dark at 4:22. As I was unlocking my truck using my cel phone as a flashlight to guide my key, the porch light came on. I froze. My wife stepped outside dressed in her pajamas, hugging herself from the cold. “Where are you going?”, she asked. “I can't sleep so I'm going to the office”, I replied. She went back inside and turned off the light.

I pulled out of our short driveway onto Highway 128 and accelerated at a relaxed pace toward Boonville. I turned my wipers on the lowest intermittent setting to clear the mist from the windshield. The pre-dawn was dark and inky. The mist seemed to absorb the light from my headlights like black felt. My mind drifted to thoughts of teaching my drafting class as the truck shifted through the gears like an American made truck that is coming up on needing a new transmission does; tacking up higher than it should and abruptly shifting and lurching forward slightly into the next gear.

Within moments I was approaching Smoot Sink, a portion of road which has continued to subside for centuries. They estimate that there is over 40 feet of roadbed under the existing road surface, and it continues to develop cracks as it shifts. I passed the first blinking signs that say 'rough road' and '35 mph'. These caution signs, they're always too conservative. I've grown accustomed to driving over the 'rough road' at 55 or 60. I was dreamily contemplating this while looking at the second set of blinking warning signs when something bright appeared in the road with some other bright things that seemed to be crossing the road. I don't know how long it took to register, but I finally realized I was about to run into a large wild pig. Maybe more as there was a whole bunch of them crossing directly across the road from the uphill side toward Rancharia Creek.

The breaks have anti-lock, but I don't think I hit them hard enough to engage that system. This is an old habit formed from driving old cars in my youth and having to rely on my own breaking ability. Regardless, I slowed rapidly which sent all the crap I keep on my seat onto the floor and around my feet. Videotapes of Ingvar's 26th birthday in the Virgin Islands where he jumps off a bridge and breaks two ribs in a gut, my tonsillectomy performed by my dad when I was 15, and our fishing trip to Vancouver Island, a 200' tape measure, my school briefcase, 5/8 empty aquafina water bottles...

As the truck decelerated in the 30 or so feet I had to work with, I looked at the clock and made a note of the time, 4:28. It was not a conscious decision to do so, but it was actually a priority over paying attention to maximizing my deceleration at that moment. Dan is the caretaker of the land that I was driving past, and for the last several months we have been trying to kill some or all of the wild pigs that are tearing up the property. Up until now, neither of us had seen a single solitary pig on the property, despite the enormity of sign left behind by them. So it was a point of interest to know when they were doing their thing.

The truck hit the pig going about 30 with a sound you'd expect a 100 pound pig to make when a truck hits it. Actually, what I heard was the sound of the truck bumper hitting the pig: a dull, hollow metal, thump.

The pig flew straight down the lane and hit the asphalt like a water balloon that doesn't pop when you or your partner fail to make the catch in the balloon toss game at the July 4th celebration. The truck continued to decelerate at a more rapid pace, so the pig ended up about 12 feet in front of the truck when we both came to a stop. I sat in my seat feeling suddenly very awake as the pig tried to crawl out of the road with it's two front legs. One of it's rear legs was moving ineffectively, and the other seemed completely shattered. After moments, the pig stopped its attempts and sat propped up on its front legs, oriented toward the shoulder of my lane and regarded the truck with it's eyes, glowing red from the headlights.

I put the truck in park and made up my mind that the pig needed to get out of the highway for the sake of the safety of other drivers. Oh yeah, and that pig should probably be put out of it's misery.

I got out and grabbed the hatchet that I keep in the door pocket. I hefted it in my right hand to optimize my grip on the handle which, turned around to use the blunt side, felt awkward, like using left handed scissors or trying to straighten the last kink in a wire coat hanger. As I came around the right quarter-panel of my truck, I glanced at the bumper and noticed a healthy dent on it. No surprise there. Then I focused my attention on the pig. It was white with small black spots and didn't have tusks, so it wasn't as scary as it could have been, but scary none the less, it was definitely hurt and pissed-off. I circled around it to gain a good angle from which to strike a solid blow flat on it's skull above it's eyes where Jimmy the butcher always shot the pigs at Alan's farm, and found that the pig maintained an even stare straight at me no mater where I stood. This meant that I could only hit the mark with a sort of an under-handed back-hand kind of swing. Awkward. I circled around again and found myself looking into the lights of my truck which made it harder to see the pig, and meant that the pig had a better view of me. Thinking I would take advantage of that, I went back to between the headlights and steeled myself for the next step.

Not having much experience with what an injured pig weighing 100 pounds is capable of, and not wanting to get injured myself, I found myself doing a furtive dance while going about doing the poor thing in. The only way I could swing the hatchet was with this lame under-back-hand swing and I needed to get fairly close to make that work. I imagined that pig getting a good chomp in on my leg and ended up taking several short swipes at its head which made it more upset and vocal. Every time a blow landed, it would make a shrill, raspy, squeal which sounded deafening, but the mist muffled from echoing off the hills around. The blows were, at first, ineffectual by any observation. It wasn't until my own adrenaline kicked in that I stopped thinking and just went for its head with a good strong backhand. This was always my favorite when playing racket-ball. The blow landed on its brow eliciting a startled shriek. A second disabled the eye and seemed to stun the pig as it turned its head to my right giving me a decent opening for a forehand strike which I immediately took advantage of. The first of these caused the pig to quiver, but it was still shrieking, the second silenced it, and it lay down. A few more whacks and the pig listed onto its left side. I gave it a few seconds, and then nudged it with my foot a few times to make sure it wasn't going to revive when I grabbed its feet to drag it off the road. There was no response, so I put my hatchet back in my truck and came back to finally get it off the road. I nudged it again to make sure it hadn't got it's second wind or anything, then grabbed it by the rear legs and dragged it onto the dewy grass on the shoulder.

I'm not sure when I had decided this, but I was going back home to get my hunting knife so I could bleed it out, gut it, take it home, dress it out, and put it in the freezer. Upon my return my wife was curious about why I had come back. I told her about the pig and my plan to put it in the freezer and she said “I'll call my brother to help.” She got on her cel phone and called my brother-in-law while I changed into work clothes and grabbed my knife. I decided to take a gallon of water to rinse our hands after any mess and she suggested I should take some paper towels too. With the knife, gallon milk jug full of water, and a roll of paper towels, I got back in my truck thinking, “Is this it? This is all I need for this?”. It seemed like so little for the task I was about to perform, but that was all and more than was required.

Returning to the scene at around 4:50 or so, I parked my truck past the pig and backed up so it would be near my tailgate and I could use my reverse lights to see what I was doing. The highway now seemed to be rather busy and 6 or 7 cars drove by before my brother-in-law arrived. In the meantime, I did a sort of hide and seek game with the other drivers so as not to freak anyone out. I would kneel by the pig and perform some of the evisceration and then get up and stand by the truck acting like I was arranging something in the back or in the cab when someone drove by. It was slow going with the interruptions, the difficulty of gutting a 100 pound pig on its side alone, and my own misgivings about my skill in this department. My brother-in-law had done this lots, and I had only once before on a much smaller wild pig. The tendency was to want to just wait until he got there, so I stopped and started a few times whenever I got bogged down by the difficulty of cutting with one hand while holding the body cavity open with the other. I had the intestines and stomach out but didn't have the confidence to cut out the anus and it was impossible for me to get into the ribcage and cut out the lungs and heart without help or something to prop the pig on its back, so I decided to just wait for him.

As I was rinsing off my hands so I could get in the truck to stay warm, I had a disconcerting thought. What if he couldn't make it for some reason? Even if he called my wife to let us know, my cel phone probably wouldn't get her call and she couldn't leave the baby to come and let me know. If I were her I wouldn't wake up the baby, dress him up, and pack him in the car, just to let me know he wasn't going to lend me a hand as I would assume I could do it in a little more time by myself. That and he was coming over mostly to help with dressing it out. So I decided I had to get the job done by myself if I could. It was 5:15, just a few minutes before he arrived thankfully, and we finished the job in a short time saving out the liver, heart and kidneys and slapping them down in the back of the truck. We picked up the pig by the front and hind feet and did the old 'one...two...THREE!' swing thing and just barely got it on the tailgate, but it stayed up, and we shoved it into the bed.

Back at home we set about skinning it by cutting around the ankles and separating the skin from the carcass by cutting in the fatty layer between the skin and the muscle. I was surprised and pleased to see that it had a good layer of fat on it. Apparently it has been a good acorn year. I served mostly as assistant by holding the pig in place and adjusting limbs and things as he began to cut, chop, and saw it into manageable pieces. He grew up in the former Yugoslavia on a farm with my wife where they did this kind of thing all the time, and I was really glad he was there to help. By 6:45, when he had to leave to go to work at the brewery, we had the entire pig dressed out, cut up, placed in an ice chest, and had ourselves washed up, and eaten an oatmeal breakfast which my wife had prepared for us. That gave me an hour to rinse the meat, bag it, put it in the freezer, wash off the tools, hose out my truck, clean myself up, change clothes, and hit the road for the computer drafting class that I teach at the high school. It was tight, and I didn't have time to replace the 11x17 paper in the copier at school before the bell, so the kids will be getting their quiz on Monday. Not that they'll mind. And me, I've got 60 pounds of pork in the freezer.

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LOTS OF UNHAPPY PEOPLE (Adventist v Anthem)

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MAJOR ROADWORK SCHEDULED Friday, July 8 through Thursday, July 14

The following scheduled roadwork has been verified at the time of release. Please keep in mind work is weather permitting and subject to change. For updates to this list, visit: QuickMap at, check the California Highway Information Network (CHIN) at or call 1-800-GAS-ROAD (1-800-427-7623). For information pertaining to emergency roadwork, check QuickMap and the CHIN. For media updates, please contact the appropriate Public Information Officer listed above.

Mendocino County

Route 1 (5/10.5) – Utility work will occur from Fish Rock Road to Ocean View Point on Thursday, July 14. One-way traffic control will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Motorists should expect 5-minute delays. LC#P1FA

Route 1 (67/71.2) – Utility work from Simpson Road to Abalobadiah Creek will occur on Thursday, July 14. One-way traffic control will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Motorists should expect 5-minute delays. LC#P1FA

Route 20 (20/25.7) – Road work from James Creek to Three Chop Road will continue. One-way traffic control will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Motorists should anticipate up to 15-minute delays. LC#C20HB

Route 20 (33.3/36.3) – Tree work at the North Capella Overcrossing continues. One-way traffic control will be in place from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Motorists should expect 5-minute delays. LC#M20FA

Route 20 (35.8) – Emergency work south of Willits at the Jct 20/101 Bridge continues. A full on ramp closure will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Motorists should anticipate up to 15-minute delays. LC#C20TA

U.S. 101 (23.4) – Bridge work continues in Ukiah at Route 222. Lane closures will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Motorists should expect minor slowdowns through the area. LC#101UB

U.S. 101 (24.5/25.7) – Fence work in Ukiah at the East Perkins Street Overcrossing continues. Lane closures will be in effect from 5:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekdays. Motorists should expect minor slowdowns through the area. LC#101UB

U.S. 101 (26.1) – Bridge work will begin in Ukiah at the North State Overcrossing Bridge on Sunday, July 10. A full on ramp closure will be in effect from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. weeknights. Motorists are advised to take alternative routes. LC#C101FC

U.S. 101 (25.7/27) – Bridge work in Ukiah from the Presswood Overhead Bridge to the Hensley Creek Undercrossing continues. Lane Closures will be in effect from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. weeknights. Motorists should expect minor slowdowns through the area. LC#C101FC

U.S. 101 (61.3/63.4) – Bridge work south of Laytonville at Long Valley Creek continues. Lane closures will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Motorists should expect minor slowdowns through the area. LC#101FC0

U.S. 101 (61.8) – Bridge work near the Irvine Lodge Rest Area continues. One-way traffic control will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Motorists should expect minor slowdowns through the area. LC#C101FC

U.S. 101 (78.5/97.5) – Drainage work north of Spyrock Road will continue. One-way traffic control will be in effect from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Motorists should expect up to 10-minute delays. LC#C101UC

U.S. 101 (82.5) – Empire Camp Safety Rest Area will be closed through August 2022. LC#C101TB

Route 162 (11/12.6) – Road work south of Dos Rios near the Rodeo Creek Bridge continues. One-way traffic control will be in effect from 3 p.m. to 7 a.m. weeknights. Motorists should expect up to 10-minute delays. LC#C162IA

Route 271 (5.5) – Bridge work south of Leggett continues. One-way traffic control will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Motorists should expect 5-minute delays. LC#C271HA

Route 271 (16.9/17) – Slide removal continues south of Piercy near Reynolds State Park Road. A lane closure is in effect and motorists should use an alternate route. LC#T271BA

(Caltrans District 1 Road Information Bulletin)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 7, 2022

Andrade, Berger, Canady

JOSE ANDRADE, Oakland/Ukiah. Suspended license for DUI.

DEVON BERGER, Marysville/Fort Bragg. Robbery.

COREY CANADY, Ukiah. Battery, witness intimidation.

Clearbrook, Defoor, Emery

MANALIE CLEARBROOK, Willits. Failure to appear.

SHANNON DEFOOR, Forestville/Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, addict driving vehicle, false ID, probation revocation.

ANDRES EMERY, Ukiah. Protective order violation.

Flinton, Geurts, Goldsmith

SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Burglary.

CHRISTOPHER GEURTS, Willits. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.

MICHELLE GOLDSMITH, Willits. Probation revocation.

Herrera, Hill, Larro

PEDRO HERRERA-GONZALEZ, Fortuna. DUI, suspended license, failure to appear.

JOSH HILL (repost for charges), Willits. DUI, probation revocation.

AHMED LARRO, Fort Lauderdale/Ukiah. Pot for sale, providing pot to minor.

Marsh, Michels, Sowles

AMANDA MARSH, Willits. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

BRENTON MICHELS, Kennewick, Washington/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

DAVID SOWLES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

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Russia’s participation at a G-20 foreign ministers meeting in Indonesia is prompting some Western leaders to say they’ll work to prevent Moscow from subverting their agenda and seek side agreements to keep up the pressure over the war in Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he’s confident UK policy toward Ukraine won’t change any time soon, after Boris Johnson announced his intention to resign as prime minister.

The risk of potential disruption from Russia prompted a continued rally in European natural gas. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, braced as the Nord Stream 1 pipeline -- the main conduit to the continent -- is set to close next week for annual maintenance, with speculation emerging that it won’t return to full service.

Key Developments

  • US to Seek G-20 Side Deals on Ukraine to Get Past Russia, China 
  • Germany to Breach Debt Limits Once Again If Putin Shuts Off Gas US,
  • Allies Discuss Capping Russian Oil Price at $40-$60 a Barrel 
  • Russian Tycoon Calls Sanctions ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ 
  • Russia’s War-Weary Tech Talent Floods Into Neighboring Georgia 


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Goodbye Party Friends, Lithuania, 1991

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THE PULITZERS ARE JUST A BUNCH OF PROPAGANDISTS giving each other trophies and assuring each other they're doing brave and important work. Meanwhile the public just gets more and more disgusted with them, but they don't care because their validation doesn't come from the public. They complain that they don't get enough respect when in reality they get far too much. They're absolutely the worst people on earth. A bunch of worthless, simpering sycophants, the whole lot of them.

— Caitlin Johnstone

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Our last civil war was fought partly by Southern men who could march and fight for months on a diet of cornpone and something else called “hardtack”. They were used to being cheerful and having morale while living and fighting under very miserable conditions. What they had as a soldier’s diet probably wasn’t too different from our forthcoming diet of bugs. I don’t see our spoiled and self indulgent population having the balls for a real civil war. What will probably happen instead is a sudden mass freakout of crying, hysteria, and mass suicides after it all goes south so to speak. The masculinized women will be leading the way, believing that acting like children, making noise, having tantrums, or demonstrating will bring back the mass motoring, residential climate control, Walmart shopping for China junk etc. It won’t happen.

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Imagine: You can’t think of a thing you want. You have everything. At an ordinary dinner, food is put before you that is unknown to most people. You’ve never touched a tool, washed a dish, raised the hood of a car. There’s no nice place you haven’t been, no awful place you have. You rarely say the words “first class,” because you just assume it, whatever it refers to. Dirty things, broken things, ugly things and plain things are not in your surroundings.

But you are not actually in a bubble. You are educated. You know your life is uncommon. You know many people die young and untimely. You know with every breath that you are flesh and blood and therefore perishable. You know that beyond the gates the peaceful, gracefully kept streets lead to other streets that are less orderly and then to places you don’t visit. You know the world outside of yours is not serene, and its people are restless and want more. You have all you want. They have little. You are not a deep thinker, but neither are you stupid. Somehow you sense—even if you cannot express it—that you are the subject of a conspicuous imbalance. The papers, the TV, the plays and movies you see don’t talk about it. They mostly talk about ordinary existence—that life, which looks fraught and dangerous. Conflict seems to be the main thing on offer.

The things that happened in Washington last year were scary. Rough people crawled like monkeys over the capitol in Washington, an army of peasants agitating to enslave themselves further to the system that deceives and exploits them and to the darling of the One Percent, the idiot savant whose sole talent is to mesmerize the multitudes of people dumber than himself. They screamed at the working people inside, the people who protect you. They broke in, and the government officials ran and hid from them, huddling in basements. Some of the rowdy people went to officials’ homes and yelled at them. They milled around like they wanted to make trouble. They disturbed the quiet streets and neighborhoods of important officials, and they scared the hell out of decent people.

Now consider this: Say you are of that class of people who protect the rich. Elected or appointed, your job is to keep things safe for the best people, and you are well rewarded for it. It is a commitment that requires you to deal with the ordinary people, to know about the everyday world and maintain the space between the rich and the rest. You are pretty rich yourself, and you want to protect yourself and your class from the envy and the designs of the masses.

As servant and direct beneficiary of the immensely wealthy, how determined are you to hold the line, maintain the status quo, put a hard stop to any attempt to take away the goods and privileges, the ease and security of the elite? That service is glaringly visible in the actions of Mitch McConnell or General Michael Flynn or William Barr or the blank, unfazed gaze of an Ivanka Trump, who once said to a college classmate who finished a fascinating book about the real world and recommended it to her, “Why would you tell me to read a book about fucking poor people?”

The behavior of the privileged and their representatives in government these days, is so naked, raw and “out there,” I tear my skimpy hair and wail in outrage: How could they?! How can we let them get away with it?!

We’re in a time of bare fists and nose-to-nose confrontations, of strained civility in the halls of government. A tiny class of people has commandeered the wealth, the sufficiency, the basic security and the prospects of improvement of the many. It is, for them, a situation devoutly to be desired, the best of all worlds. For the Fraction of One Percent, this is both the verge of success and a perilous time. Their servants in government and business are tasked with maintaining the prevailing imbalance and making it permanent. From small-town councils to the U.S. Supreme Court, loyalists to their cause are in place and ready to take orders. 

The justices have spoken, and their decisions insult the very spirit of America, not to mention all females, all people who don’t like getting shot or watching others getting shot, and anyone who thinks anything should have any type of government oversight (unless the “oversight” can be in the form of some system that increases profits). The McConnells and Cruzes and you-name-them have dispensed with tiresome appeals to principle. Their only principle is power and profit, and they are so close to winning the pot! Normal people are appalled, but normal people, absent ruthlessness, are at a huge disadvantage. When a mean thing crosses a nice thing, which one inevitably wins? 

Their “base” is a mindless mob, the lower half on the intelligence scale, constantly, cynically complimented for their cleverness and patriotism. Education has been reshaped to perpetuate the aims of the alums who donate the most to the athletic program, the very fat cats. Loyal ladies purge grade-school libraries of questionable books, like books that challenge the maldistribution of fortune or the more civilized interpretations of U.S. history. Government and corporations, hand in glove (coincidentally the definition of fascism), hold the purse strings, funding the studies that enrich industry and “defense” contracting and underfunding curriculums that instill values and teach critical thinking. Education is designed and delivered to benefit the donor class. 

The police are armed as never before to protect the gains of the well-off. The stage is set to accomplish the aims of those who, in 1776 and after, kept their devotion and loyalty to the British system, to the division of work and privilege that enables the life of nobles and peers, the division that has always prevailed among men, called “the class system,” that very phrase banned from the books for impressionable readers.

I exhale and think of all this. My agitation hid from me the obviousness of this moment. Now the picture slides back into focus. It’s not a pretty picture. There is something familiar… By God, it’s a twenty-first-century version of feudalism, modernized, streamlined and camouflaged, but it meets all the venerable requirements of the landed class!

America is an experiment. The outcomes of experiments are never guaranteed. You have to keep all the variables in mind. Experiments are complicated and risky. Most fail. The hoped-for outcome of the American experiment is a stable, secure and rising society. 

It is an unnatural goal. We are Homo sapiens, not Homo stabilis. There are more people displaced, confused and wretched than at any other time in history—not just in absolute numbers, but in the proportion of the world population in distress. It will take immense force to keep the worst from dominating, force that can only be found in the masses of people. That was the counterweight the country enjoyed when there was a true Democratic Party—not merely a caricature—and it registered far more voters than the Republicans, decade after decade. That majority of Democrats was a bulwark against the venality and brutality of the Elephant Party, and its brightest component was a muscular labor movement that addressed school boards no less than legislatures. The labor unions earned (until they didn’t) the trust of their members—the trust and admiration, even, of non-members—who relied on the unions to keep them informed of crucial developments in Washington and Wall Street. Union voters went to the polls holding the published recommendations of Labor's expert advisers. There was a balance. 

Patiently, dedicated to the long game in a society that lacks patience for it, the Upper Class chipped away at the Democratic Party’s foundations, the teaching of values, called “The Humanities” in schools and used distraction to neutralize the instruction in civics and current events provided to working adults by the unions. Like the Democratic Party, the labor movement was gradually infiltrated, corrupted and weakened to a point where it was no longer decisive, barely a remnant, poisoned by the graft and cupidity of its once-trusted leadership, and the Republicans perfected the skills of turning ordinary things to their account, propagating transparent lies about imaginary enemies, glorifying the excitement of the lottery, the rigged numbers game that wildly celebrated the rare winner, spoke not a word about the numberless losers.

I had a blue-collar job. I went to lunch sometimes at a diner that had a slot machine. A woman was often at that machine, an electronic horse race, with a cupful of nickels. She was haggard. She was plainly addicted to the chance of a jackpot. There was no fun in her chore. She fed scarce money to the machine that could have bought her a new dress, a wholesome dinner for husband and kids. I saw her day after day, until my surmise about her situation became certainty. I wanted to tell her “stop!” but I had no standing. I could not imagine an approach that would not have caused a scene. We never spoke. I cannot forget her, lodged in my memory like the indelible images from the Great Depression.

So here you are, at yet another moment without precedent. The world envisioned by our brilliant but muddleheaded founders, a hazy vision at best, coming as it did at the end of The Enlightenment and start of Capitalism, a time of flatly incompatible views of humanity, nature and value--that world would prove to be impossible. The passionate delegates to the Constitutional Convention were derailed by contrary goals that defied reconciliation and confounded clear thinking. They planned a world safe for a happy few like themselves and comfortable for the rest, a New-World watering hole, where lions and gazelles touch shoulders while drinking, where the jolly rich swap crowns for workman’s caps at masquerades that all attend, where dark and light are reconciled. No such world can happen on this planet, not while Homo sapiens predominates. We are, at once, the kindest and the cruelest among creatures, and, without great counter-pressure, cruelty’s tools are sharper.

Image: Sally Hemings, the only picture of her made during her lifetime

Thomas Jefferson, philosopher, plantation owner, humanitarian, patriot, bibliophile, lawyer, writer, violinist, diplomat, epicurean, architect, tobacco farmer, politician, idealist—on and on and on—was a genius and an advocate, in and out of law courts, of emancipation. Yet he owned hundreds of slaves. He deplored slavery and danced a most peculiar dance around the Peculiar Institution, even for the odd times that shaped him and that he shaped. When his wife died, he took comfort with her younger half-sister (and maidservant!) Sarah, called “Sally,” thirty years younger than he. The two, the widower and the slave, had six children together. Sally’s mother was half-African, her father American and white. She was thus a quadroon, AKA, then as now, “Black.”

So this Jefferson, this avatar of republican values, this statesman-aristocrat, is made godlike by reverence and jingoism, but he stands as a symbol of American democracy better in fact than in legend. The real man fought against slavery his entire life, while being a rich slaveholder who, in total, freed five slaves. He envisioned a nation of free men, farmers and tradesmen, prosperous though modest, content and peaceful. He embodied the opposite. It was a paradox that was accepted at the time and never, until way later, called hypocrisy. Instead, his dilemma now evokes sympathy as much as censure, depending on the observer.

Now we look to our leaders to have a better grasp of reality and grind our teeth when we are fed lies so transparent they are insulting, when we see our labor’s rewards and our aspirations vanish as if by cheap magicians.

This is our heritage. If you are on the winning side, what will you do to secure your fortune? Why should you share? Why pay in taxes for goods and services that are intended for the general public’s benefit? You are not the general public. Conversely, if you are just one American among millions, what will prompt you to stand up and take action, confront your betters and their daunting superiority? In a true and functioning democracy it would be good choice for citizens that have stomach for it, but our “democracy” is not a true democracy. It is a plutocracy and an oligarchy: rule by the rich, rule by the few.

We are at a point where people are daring to say this out loud: Our founding was flawed. It was a valiant effort and deserving of our pride and respect, but the Founders could not foresee the revolution, the phenomenon ably described and analyzed by the Scotsman Adam Smith: capitalism. Capitalism is an efficient way to grow wealth and overcome impediments that is also brutal and cruel. It demands conflict and competition. It afflicts the poor and innocent with oppression and short, mean lives. It was conscionable in the late 18th century when the colonists were fewer than three million people, scattered from Maine to Georgia, and the western hemisphere was a trove of wealth beyond the maddest dreams. Despite the unevenness of the wealth of American households, there was enough abundance for all. But as time went by, capitalism became a juggernaut, a blind monster that crushes anything that hinders it and turns its beneficiaries into people who must not consider the evil their lucky lives entail.

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A FORGOTTEN WHITE REPORTER at the Battle of Little Bighorn

by Jonah Raskin

“From far Montana’s canons,/ lands of the wild ravine, the dusky Sioux, the lone-/some stretch, the silence,/ haply, to-day, a mournful wail/ haply, a trumpet/ note for heroes.”

—Walt Whitman, “A Death-Sonnet for Custer,” July 10, 1876, reprinted as “From Far Dakotas Cañons,” in Leaves of Grass.

Mark Kellogg, who is now largely forgotten, was the only reporter who accompanied Lieutenant Colonel George Custer and his troops in June 1876 when they clashed with Indian warriors in “Nebraska Territory” and were soundly defeated. The Lakota have celebrated “Victory Day” every year on June 25. Kellogg saw Custer’s military expedition as a great opportunity to boost his own career. Reporters were not meant to accompany Custer. Then as now, news and information about the war were supposed to be closely guarded by the generals. Kellogg weaseled himself into the campaign and observed some of the battle at “the Little Bighorn,” as whites have called it. Indians know it as “the Battle of the Greasy Grass.” Their victory in June 1876 came hard on the heels of other victories.

Had they gone on to defeat American forces again and again in the West in the last two decades of the nineteenth-century, Little Bighorn might have come to be known as a major turning point in the centuries old struggle between the indigenous inhabitants of the continent and the invaders preoccupied with Manifest Destiny. It might have been known as an “American Dien Bien Phu,” which was the place where the Vietnamese defeated the French in 1954. The National Park Service proclaims that “The Battle of the Little Bighorn has come to symbolize the clash of two vastly dissimilar cultures: the buffalo/horse culture of the northern plains tribes, and the highly industrial/agriculture based culture of the United States.” That’s a sanitized story. The battle was part of a conscious plan to exterminate Indians. Still, Indians and whites tend to belong to two different cultures. That was made transparent during a panel discussion with attorney John Briscoe and Tribal Judge Abby Abinanti at the Mechanics’ Institute in San Francisco on June 30 2022. The topic was “California’s Hidden History of Indian Slavery,” a fact that paralleled genocide.

At the Mechanics’, Abinanti, California’s first Native American female lawyer, emphasized storytelling. Briscoe emphasized facts and dates. Of course, not every white person spews facts and figures and not every Indian recounts stories. Still, there’s a discernable pattern of Indian storytelling and white history lessons. “The saddest thing for me,” Abinanti said, “is that I don’t have my own language, which unlike English is not noun based. Our stories are coming back and more and more young people are speaking Indian languages.” It’s not too late for Indian stories about resistance to colonialism to emerge.

Historians and poets like Walt Whitman—at his most brazenly patriotic—have romanticized Custer and the defeat of white forces as his “Last Stand.” One might just as well call it “Mark Kellogg’s Last Stand.” After all, Kellogg died on the battlefield before he could file the big stories that he thought would make him as famous as Custer. Had he survived the battle, he probably would have gone on to do far more damage with his dispatches than he managed to do in a short amount of time.

He wasn’t the only one in that regard. In a story titled, “Massacre of our Troops,” The New York Times called the Indians at Little Bighorn “savages.” Telegrams and the telegraph sped news around the country faster than the Pony Express and its riders.

It’s too bad that historians have mostly ignored Kellogg. He aided and abetted the genocidal war that soldiers, generals, presidents and politicians waged against American Indians. On June 21, 1876, he wrote from the cusp of the battlefield to his editor at the Bismarck Tribune, “The hope is now strong and I believe, well founded, that this band of ugly customers, known as Sitting Bull’s band, will be ‘gobbled’ and dealt with as they deserve.”

Three days later, he sent another dispatch to his editor: “By the time this reaches you we would have met and fought the red devils, with what result remains to be seen. I go with Custer and will be at the death.” He meant that he’d be there for “the kill” of the Indians.

Kellogg made it abundantly clear why Indian land was so valuable to whites, and why it had to be seized, occupied and made a part of the US. On the subject of the Yellowstone Valley, he noted that it offered a “magnitude of facilities for commercial purposes.” He went on to spell out the bounty of the land “for grass and timber, not only in quantity but in quality; for richness of soil; for health and climate; for its abundance of game, its quantity of fish and other things besides.”

In her classic, The Battle of the Little Bighorn, which was originally published in 1966 and that has just been reissued in a new edition this year by the University of Nebraska Press, Mari Sandoz—a much heralded chronicler of the American West—only mentions Kellogg in passing. By leaving him out of the heart of her story she neglected to explore a crucial wartime relationship between one gung-ho reporter and one egomaniacal military officer. The Custer-Kellogg dynamic is emblematic of the chemistry that has long linked spirited reporters and free-wheeling military officers.

That explosive chemistry goes back to the earliest days of the American Republic. It continued though the Spanish-American War—ignited in large part by the jingoistic publisher William Randolph Hearst—and traveled all the way to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq when journalists at The New York Times and elsewhere repeated the big White House lies about weapons of mass destruction and thereby whipped up hysteria for war. Sandoz observes that the stories about Little Bighorn set the stage for the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890 when Hotchkiss guns mowed down women and children as well as male warriors. Kellogg would have cheered.

An opportunist and a self-promoter, he took the pen name “Frontier,” identified himself with western expansion, and cast himself as a public relations man for the U.S. military and especially for Lieutenant Colonel George Custer who did nothing to distinguish himself at the Battle of Little Bighorn. In fact, Custer was incompetent as a tactician and as a strategist in June 1876, as Sandoz makes abundantly clear. In the pages of her classic, Custer is mostly an invisible officer lost in the mayhem, the slaughter, the dust and the blood. Custer serves as just another dead body.

In his dispatches, Kellogg puffed Custer up bigger than life and made him into a mythical figure. He called him “a brave, faithful, gallant soldier, who has warm friends and bitter enemies; the hardest rider, the greatest pusher, with the most untiring vigilance, overcoming seeming impossibilities, and with an ambition to succeed in all things he undertakes; a man to do right, as he construes the right, in every case; one respected and beloved by his followers, who would freely follow him into the ‘jaws of hell.’”

Kellogg’s description served as a foundation for the worship of the lieutenant colonel that took off soon after he died and the battle ended. The US government, American historians and Custer’s widow augmented and embellished the story, in part because, from the start, they wanted to avenge the defeat of US troops. Promoting the battle as “Custer’s Last Stand” in paintings, poems, books and blatant works of propaganda, diverted attention away from the genius of the Indian warriors, including Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, and turned an incompetent soldier into a national hero.

Sandoz rightfully and insightfully points out that Custer had his eyes on the White House, and that he wanted to turn his own military victories against the Indians in the West into a successful run for the presidency. July 4th loomed on the horizon and the US prepared to celebrate its centenary. Custer thought he had a rendezvous with destiny and saw what he thought was an opportunity to finesse his image. He had long falsified the historical record and claimed for example to be the first white man in the Great Plains. A rogue officer, he defied his superiors, though he was ordered to cut his long hair and to look more like the professional soldier he was supposed to be.

Sandoz doesn’t pull many of her punches, though she mostly tells the story of the Little Bighorn from the point of view of the whites. Still, she rightfully nails the “whole Indian extermination policy” of the US government and the US military. “Kill them” was the order of the day. In the 1870s, Indian resistance to American forces was inevitable, she points out. The US government routinely broke treaties it had signed with tribes. Also, soldiers had mostly exterminated the buffalo and thereby removed a major source of food for the Indians. They would starve them to death. Settlers wanted western lands where Indians lived and hunted. Miners craved the gold that had been discovered in the Dakota territory. The railroads wanted big chunks of the West to lay down tracks, create stations and build an empire.

In the last chapter of her book, Sandoz observes that “since the Civil War there was further intensification on the only remaining field of conflict—the rivalry for officerships in the shrinking army and the necessity to keep the Indians stirred up not only for war profits for the manufacturers and contractors but to advance the careers of the military.” Sound familiar? It’s the same old story.

It was news in 1876 and again in 1996 when Sandoz published her book. It’s still news today. It exemplifies the notion expressed long ago and most succinctly by Marvin Garson—an activist, reporter, editor and co-founder of San Francisco’s underground newspaper Express Times—that “the bigger the story the slower it travels.”

Indians still don’t make the news very often. If and when they do, it’s because they stage a big event as they did at Alcatraz in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and later at Standing Rock in 2016. After nearly half a century behind bars, Leonard Peltier, one of the founders of the American Indian Movement, is still in prison, but that’s old news, isn’t it, and from Mark Kellogg’s point of view not deserving of a story or an interview. Hey, Mr. President, Free Leonard Peltier.

* * *

* * *


by James Butler

Boris Johnson does not like resigning. Shamelessness has been his political watchword, and it has allowed him to cling to power through scandals that would have felled other politicians. His sole political resignation, as foreign secretary under Theresa May, was simply the first step in a successful campaign for her job. In 2004, when his lies about his affair with Petronella Wyatt and her subsequent abortion were exposed, he refused Michael Howard’s order to resign as a shadow minister. He had calculated that only a sacking would allow him to play the injured party in public. As his current series of lies unravels, it is harder to see where sympathy might come from, or what might stay his backbenchers’ hands. He is staggeringly unpopular, even among Conservative voters. He no longer has plausible patronage to spread around. Loyalists are fraying away from him. It seems inconceivable that the new executive of the 1922 Committee, which will be elected on Monday, will not change its rules to allow Tory MPs to dispatch him. It is over for Johnson, even if he is constitutionally incapable of facing the fact.

As for his Cabinet, the ministers who have not yet departed – Priti Patel and Liz Truss especially – remain in post partly to burnish their credentials as ideological successors among Johnson loyalists. That calculation, though, must be rapidly changing as loyalists evaporate, even among the panting mass of the Tory base: at some point soon, one of them will realize their best hope for preferment will be as a standard-bearer for ‘Johnsonism without Johnson’. One man yet to jump, though rumored to have delivered an ultimatum to Johnson and perennially favored by the Times (his former employer), is Michael Gove.

Nadhim Zahawi’s (likely very brief) tenure as chancellor may offer him a platform to formulate such a position, rolling back increases in corporation tax and funding whatever thinly veiled exercises in electoral bribery Johnson scrambles for over the next few days. The elevation of culture-war dittohead Michelle Donelan to Zahawi’s former portfolio at Education is a sign of the caliber of those still happy to rally to Johnson’s flag. The significant question is how much damage Donelan and others can do before Johnson’s successor removes them.

On the face of it, it’s odd that Johnson should be felled by the Pincher affair. There have been more significant scandals, such as the procurement corruption during the early months of the pandemic. Johnson has been caught lying countless times – about lockdown parties, his flat refurbishment, holidays funded by private interests, let alone the forty new hospitals or £350 million a week for the NHS. Chris Pincher’s history wasn’t unknown when he was made deputy chief whip in February: he features prominently on the spreadsheet of Tory creeps circulated among staffers in 2017 as “inappropriate with male staffers and heavy drinker + touched [redacted].” Johnson is unlikely to have forgotten that list, since he featured on it as well. Number Ten must have known they were sending ministers and spokespeople out to lie, and many of the messengers, too, must have known they were relaying lies.

Perhaps some of the anger comes from guilt, a relatively rare emotion among Tory MPs; perhaps it comes from irritation at having to endorse so obvious a series of untruths. Some MPs will have been genuinely affronted that such a man was knowingly appointed to give them orders, though he is hardly an isolated case at Westminster. Some may feel uncomfortable at the thought that Pincher’s history might even have been a qualification for the job, a way of ensuring his total loyalty to the administration.

In any case, it was the last straw, with the added bonus that an issue of sexual ethics is a means of bringing Johnson down without drawing attention to more difficult ideological conflicts in the party: for all the media focus on divisions in the Labour Party, the splits in Conservatism are just as profound if better concealed. Easier for all to agree that, at least in this case, harassment and assault are the really unforgivable sins.

As always, the resignation letters are also job applications. They all begin with a ritual genuflection to Johnson’s magnificent victory and go on to express astonishment that a man who once conspired to break the legs of a journalist and was sacked from successive newspaper jobs for practicing fraud on his readers turns out to have been a wrong ’un. Who could have known?

The implausible clean hands routine aside, Rishi Sunak’s letter in particular stresses his credentials as a mainstream Tory on public spending, heavily hinting at a frustrated desire to impose an austerity budget on the country. It’s an appeal to deep instincts in the Tory base, and suggests a pessimistic reading of Conservative chances in the next election, an expectation of having to fall back on the party’s traditional voters as the post-Brexit coalition, held together only by Johnson the fabulist, collapses.

Johnson will be desperate but has few options. A snap general election is vanishingly improbable. Comparisons with Trump, always strained, are especially wide of the mark when used to suggest some potential British knock-off of the 6 January insurrection: not because Johnson is especially fond of democracy, but because he has no supporters willing to go to such lengths for him. Having joked a fortnight ago that he was planning for his third term, he will soon need to contemplate life on the backbenches or out of politics all together. There’s a chance that even the after-dinner speaker circuit won’t want to touch him.

For the opposition, these days are easy: Keir Starmer has convincingly portrayed himself as the anti-Johnson, dutiful and rigorous where the prime minister is slapdash and entitled. Labour’s task will become more difficult if the Conservatives acquire a new leader free of Johnsonian taint and geared towards respectability and responsibility. And the party doesn’t offer a convincing vision of what it might do with the majority Johnson is squandering: Starmer’s recent much-trailed speech on Brexit amounted to a vapid assertion that instead of doing things badly, Labour would do them well. The real fear for Starmer ought to be that a grey, half-competent successor to Johnson will make the next election a repeat of 1992 rather than 1997; despite a commanding performance in the Commons today, he shows little sign of being galvanized by such a fear.

A state led by Sunak, Gove or Truss with reforming zeal would be an unpleasant place to live. But it’s also damaging to be governed by intellectually deficient, personally ambitious, corrupt or simply uninterested ministers. Fewer ministers than ever care about their departments, as the internecine vortex of Westminster and dreams of a slot on Question Time suck in most of their attention. This has been especially true since 2016, though the problem is of longer gestation. It doesn’t entirely explain why Britain, after twelve years of Conservative government, is run-down, stagnant, expensive, underpaid, unequal, corrupt, socially fractured, backward-looking, hungry and fearful. But it doesn’t help. It will take far more than dislodging Johnson to change that.

(London Review of Books)

* * *

* * *


During a Thursday speech addressing Russian parliament officials, President Vladimir Putin warned that the military has barely started its operations in Ukraine - suggesting he sees a long haul fight possibly for the whole of Ukraine ahead - in a direct challenge to the West as it continues to send arms to Kiev.

It's being widely viewed as one of the fiercest speeches and challenges issued to Western backers of Ukraine since he authorized the Feb.24 invasion. He said that "the West wants to fight us until the last Ukrainian" - which he called a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, before adding, "It looks like it's heading in that direction," and then put the world on notice that Russia "by and large hasn't started anything seriously yet."

"Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield. Well, what can you say here? Let them try,” Putin said, in a direct challenge to the US and NATO, though without naming them specifically. "At the same time, we don’t reject peace talks. But those who reject them should know that the further it goes, the harder it will be for them to negotiate with us," he added, according to a translation carried in Reuters.

Other translations of the speech quoted Putin as saying Russia's military hasn't started anything "in earnest yet". He charged that it was the West that started hostilities through the war in Donbas - ongoing since 2014.

Putin further reiterated a prior theme he's spoken about of witnessing the birth of a multi-polar world due to Russia's resistance to NATO hegemony, according his words cited in The Moscow Times:

He accused "the collective West" of unleashing a "war" in Ukraine and said Russia's intervention in the pro-Western country marked the beginning of a shift to a "multi-polar world."

"This process cannot be stopped," he added.

He also warned Kyiv and its Western allies that Moscow has not even started its military campaign in Ukraine "in earnest."

"Everyone should know that we have not started in earnest yet," he said.

He also seemed to aim comments at the domestic populations of the West, and hinted at the resistance of BRICS countries to "totalitarian liberalism": Putin said most countries did not want to follow the Western model of "totalitarian liberalism" and "hypocritical double standards." "People in most countries do not want such a life and such a future," he said.

"They are simply tired of kneeling, humiliating themselves in front of those who consider themselves exceptional."

Given that this week the Pentagon has said it will introduce further advanced and longer range weapons systems into Ukraine's arsenal, the Russia-NATO game of chicken looks to continue dangerously into the indefinite future. Statements from US, UK, and EU officials have meanwhile continued calling for domestic populations to "sacrifice".

Biden said last week that this will go on "for as long as it takes."

* * *

Lifecycle of a Blackberry


  1. John Sakowicz July 8, 2022

    Love the “Lifecycle of a Blackberry”. Thanks for posting.

  2. Mike Williams July 8, 2022

    Jonah Raskin’s article references one of the best writers to come out of the homesteader experience.
    Mari Sandoz grew up in the Sandhills of Nebraska and had contact with early settlers and Native Americans. Her father, Old Jules, broke his ankle in a well accident and was treated by Dr Walter Reed at Fort Robinson where Crazy Horse had been killed a few years earlier. Mari went on to write many books about homesteading and the Plains Indians, like Old Jules, Cheyenne Autumn, Crazy Horse, The Beavermen, The Cattlemen, Capitol City, Slogum House. She knew participants in the Custer battle and mostly wrote from their perspective. She endured hardships growing up under harsh circumstances and abusive treatment by Old Jules. First published in 1935, Old Jules is unquestionably Mari Sandoz’s masterpiece. This portrait of her pioneer father grew out of “the silent hours of listening behind the stove or the wood box, when it was assumed, of course, that I was asleep in bed. So it was that I heard the accounts of the hunts,” Sandoz recalls. “Of the fights with the cattlemen and the sheepmen, of the tragic scarcity of women, when a man had to ‘marry anything that got off the train,’ of the droughts, the storms, the wind and isolation. But the most impressive stories were those told me by Old Jules himself.” There is an interview with her on YouTube from Nebraska Public TV shortly before she passed away.

  3. Mike J July 8, 2022

    Moves are being made by Arizona Democrat Reuben Gallegos and Wisconsin Mike Gallagher on the House Intelligence Committee to expose supersecret unacknowledged, waived special access programs. They have introduced an amendment to grant immunity for reporting classified info to agencies and officials beyond the turf safeguarding particular secrets.
    To follow developments on this and other developing key fronts:
    Note that a traditional Democratic Party PAC, previously dealing with issues related to Trumpian pathologies, has now taken up this issue, the biggest one ever facing our species. Their clip “UAP” is included at above link.
    When Adam Schiff was asked at a reddit AMA what his biggest surprise was in 2021, he answered “aliens”. Note in that clip the hilarious body language of former CIA director John Brennan, as he references “other forms of life” being responsible for certain UFO events. This is going to be some ride now!
    Watch for special NASA news on July 12: first images from Webb ST.

    • Mike J July 8, 2022

      Gallagher is a Republican. (The 1/6 cmt showed his remarks critical of Trump the other day.) The amendment is to the NDAA. Gallagher is on the hunt for a now confirmed SAP controlled by a private company tasked with developing tech from a recovered alien craft.
      The Senate Intel Cmt is also exploring immunity questions.
      (Some points missed from first post )

  4. Marmon July 8, 2022


    Can you imagine the media outrage if President Trump sold oil reserves to China and Donald JTrump Jr stood to potentially benefit financially from it?


    • k h July 8, 2022

      Do you ever consider the cognitive dissonance of claiming that Joe Biden is senile, doddering, decrepit, confused and brain damaged, while simultaneously screeching that he is the clever, ruthless leader of a nefarious global “crime family”?

      • Bruce Anderson July 8, 2022

        Not at all. He crimed before he doddered.

  5. k h July 8, 2022

    Those curious about the “negative operating financial performance” of local Adventist hospitals can use Propublica’s Non-Profit Explorer for details about their income and revenue

    Adventist Health Ukiah Valley
    Most recent year, 2020, net profit of $11,169,407 on $210,547,210 in revenue

    Adventist Health Mendocino Coast
    Most recent year, 2020, negative earnings of -$720,815 on $28,140,651 of revenue

    Adventist Health Howard Hospital
    Most recent year, 2020, net profit of $5,615,023 on $86,405,980 of revenue

    • k h July 8, 2022

      If you download the entire tax return, you can also see salaries for certain officers and directors

      2019 is the last year the IRS released that information.

      At that time, Jason Wells was the president of UVAH – his salary was 534,382. Judson Howe was the finance officer – his salary was 351,482. Howe has since been promoted to president of all 3 local Adventist hospitals.

      Salaries for 2020 and 2021 are not available yet.

      The tax returns also have a section (Schedule H) that lists their financial assistance and community benefit contributions. In 2019, they provided 2,101,265 in financial assistance, which is 1.08% of their total expenses. Other types of community benefit (health classes, health professions education, and subsidized care) raise their total financial assistance and community benefit contribution to 4.75% of their total expenses.

      • k h July 26, 2022

        Following up on this topic….

        Wall Street Journal
        Big Hospitals Provide Skimpy Charity Care—Despite Billions in Tax Breaks

        Nonprofit hospitals get billions of dollars in tax breaks in exchange for providing support to their communities. A Wall Street Journal analysis shows they are often not particularly generous.

        These charitable organizations, which comprise the majority of hospitals in the U.S., wrote off in aggregate 2.3% of their patient revenue on financial aid for patients’ medical bills. Their for-profit competitors, a category including publicly traded giants such as HCA Healthcare Inc., wrote off 3.4%, the Journal found in an analysis of the most-recent annual reports hospitals file with the federal government.

        Among nonprofits with the smallest shares of patient revenue going toward charity care—well under 1%—were high-profile institutions including the biggest hospitals of California’s Stanford Medicine and Louisiana’s Ochsner Health systems. At Avera Health, a major hospital system in South Dakota, charity care was roughly half of 1% of patient revenue across all its 18 hospitals.

        More at the link above

  6. Briley July 8, 2022

    So, please clarify, the BOS is suggesting a 1/4% sales tax that will go into the general fund? Not dedicated specific to Fire/Emergency services? Correct? GENERAL FUND where it can be used for anything, correct?

    • Mark Scaramella July 8, 2022

      Correct. We’ll grant that they probably mean to do it too. But experience tell us that they’ve been stingy with their legal obligation to fund emergency services in the unincorporated areas. They made no attempt to honor Measure AJ, they hand over hundreds of thousands of dollars to Coastal Valley EMS and say that it’s for emergency services, they talk about needing an allocation formula when one already exists (as if Fire Departments are going to waste the money — they should talk). It was pulling teeth to get a the small fraction of Prop 172 money. And if the budget is as bad as they say it is (and we’re not so sure), they can say that their own budget needs are a higher priority than the fire services at some future time. I would trust them more if they at least included a provision/resolution requiring a 5-0 vote of the Board to allocate the 1/4 cent revenues to anything but the local fire services or fire safe council. I support a fire tax for fire and emergency services (especially nowadays), but since the Board has not exercised much fiscal oversight on some conspicuous spendthrift projects (CRT, Jail expansion, Whitmore Lane to name a couple), it’s very hard to trust them with this one. In fact, when the tax was first discussed, Supervisor Haschak himself noted that the Board hasn’t demonstrated an ability to implement such measures in the past.

  7. Jurgen Stoll July 8, 2022

    Thanks for the piece by Mitch Clogg. A perfect description of late stage capitalism and the fight we boomers are leaving to the next generations to fight. To the younger generation I apologize for what my generation, who had it all, have left you. Decimated unions with workers who will have to refight all the battles that I fought as a union member, that’s if you’re not in a right to work state. There you get to fight just to have a union. Ex union members who live comfortably off their union negotiated pensions and medical benefits and receive social security and medicare but proudly put on their MAGA hats and support the rethuglicans in trying to dismantle the government. Hypocrite much? A waste of a supreme court majority that will never side with labor and wants to force this country into a theocracy and has shown what lying thugs like Trump and McConnel can accomplish. And a planet that will roast us while corrupt authoritarians demand a return to former glory. I can’t wait till this boomer generation no longer holds power anywhere. The only thing worth doing is to let go of the wheel and let the younger generation use what’s left of our government and governments across the world to fight for their lives.

  8. Marmon July 8, 2022

    The RNC is making millions off Trump’s brand and popularity.

    Will the RNC be loyal partners in 2024?

    Trump’s response tonight
    @OANN and #OANlive 8pm EST.

    Don’t miss it!


    • Marshall Newman July 8, 2022

      Trump is a serial liar not worthy of anyone’s interest or attention.

    • Bruce McEwen July 8, 2022

      Ever see a bull elephant gored by and herd of RINOs?

  9. Lindy Peters July 8, 2022

    This is from the State statutes governing jury selection:

    2) The prospective juror must travel an excessive distance. Unless otherwise established by statute or local rule, an excessive distance is reasonable travel time that exceeds one-and-one-half hours from the prospective juror’s home to the court.

    Note it says “unless otherwise established by statute or LOCAL RULE.” Has the Board of Supervisors, any of them, looked into changing this absurd process we have of jury selection here? It actually takes 1 1/2 hours for most cautious drivers to even get to Ukiah. Maybe try to over ride the State they always blame for this debacle with a more fair and just method of handling coastal residents who might otherwise serve?

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