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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, July 14, 2022

Warming | Buck Moon | Unhappy Employees | Decommissioning PVP | Choco Dance | Missing Person | Forced Consolidation | Miss Stickney | Ed Notes | Radical Finns | Deep Work | Chore Buddy | Del & George | MCN Future | Master Plan | Fort Braggery | Hunter Education | Ukiah Fair | Yesterday's Catch | Stealth Fliers | Ukraine | Completely Corrupted | Dollar Collapse | Corporate Advertiser | War Bad | Two Ladies | San Franciscana | Man's World | Paved Paradise | Fred Johnson | Dislikes Hartmann | Rude People | One World | Friend Death | True Face | Welcome Pause

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INTERIOR TEMPERATURES WILL WARM up again toward the end of the week and over the weekend. Meanwhile, low clouds and patches of fog will continue to blanket coastal areas night and morning hours, with some clearing each afternoon. (NWS)

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WORD OUT OF COUNTY EMPLOYEE CIRCLES in Ukiah has it that union negotiators have been told that the County will not offer cost of living raises to County employees. The people who spoke to us said that they and their co-workers are considering calling in sick or outright quitting if that’s the County’s official position, particularly employees on the low end of the County’s payroll spectrum. 

Ironically, this info comes just a day after the Board discussed a “living wage ordinance” for county employees and possibly employees of county contractors. During that discussion all five Supervisors thought that the “living wage” subject was a good idea but should be put off until after the planned cost of living raises were dealt with. The timing of this latest development which reached us on Wednesday, assuming it’s confirmed, comes just one day after the Board’s Tuesday afternoon closed session when the subject of vacant funded positions and other labor negotiations were on the closed session agenda. Leading up to that closed session were several dire remarks from the Supervisors, especially Ted Williams, implying that the County’s finances were worse than previously thought.

Unhappy County Employees At The Board Of Supervisors, Tuesday

(Mark Scaramella)

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DECOMMISSIONING THE POTTER VALLEY PROJECT IS OFF TO A ROUGH START

With ag users writing angry letters pleading for more water and environmentalists threatening lawsuits, one thing is clear: the initial outreach to stakeholders is not going well. And the decommissioning process hasn’t gotten started yet.…

mendofever.com/2022/07/13/decommissioning-the-potter-valley-project-is-off-to-a-rough-start/

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WILLITS MAN SUFFERING FROM MENTAL ILLNESS NOT SEEN BY CONCERNED FAMILY SINCE THE FOURTH OF JULY

Shannon Phillips

The family of 50-year-old Willits man Shannon Phillips is concerned. His daughter, Michelle Beck, said no one from her family has seen him since the Fourth of July. The last confirmed sighting of her father makes her think he was in the throes of mental illness.… This extended absence is not like her father, Michelle told us. “We see him every day. Even if it is walking the town of Willits, or he calls us. We have not seen him or heard from him.”…

kymkemp.com/2022/07/14/willits-man-suffering-from-mental-illness-not-seen-by-concerned-family-since-the-fourth-of-july/

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SUPERVISOR MAUREEN MULHEREN (Wednesday facebook update):

“Chamise Cubbison was sworn in as our Auditor-Treasurer-Tax Collector [on Tuesday]. The combining of these offices is meant to create efficiencies and more importantly increase transparency. I’m glad that those team members from the two departments can now move forward with coming up with a strategy to improve the work flows and collaborate more efficiently.”

Also on Tuesday the Supervisors all said that they support Ms. Cubbison to the max and promised to help her in any way they can.

Translation: You’re on your own, Ms. Cubbison.

Cubbison(r), with County Clerk Katrina Bartolomie

Supervisor Mulheren and her colleagues (except for Haschak) forced this consolidation on the Treasurer and Auditor’s office over their strong public objections. When they did it, they had no plan (as Haschak told them). They never mentioned any problems with “transparency” that the ill-considered consolidation would address either. Two top Treasurer staffers — Shari Schapmire and Julie Forrester — soon retired or quit, Schapmire saying she couldn’t work with “this board” anymore. 

Since the consolidation was made official there has been no effort to plan the consolidation other than to ask the ever-loyal Ms. Cubbison — who objected to the idea from the outset — to come up with one. In previous remarks Ms. Cubbison has told the Supervisors that 1) she is badly understaffed in both (soon to be consolidated) departments, and 2) there will be minimal if any cost savings or “efficiencies” and in fact it will require at least another top Treasurer position to maintain the legally mandated separation between the two now-combined functions.

Ms. Cubbison is trying to shore up the Treasurer-Tax Collector side of her office because 1) she wasn’t particularly familiar with it prior to the forced consolidation, and 2) the two most experienced people there have left. 

The Board asked Ms. Cubbison to hoke up some kind of rush job consolidation plan on Tuesday, but there’s still no date on when that will be submitted or what it will look like. 

Other than mouthing their “full support,” not one board member offered to help work on the plan or have staffers from the CEO’s office help. Not one board member offered to see what can be done to fill the vacant positions in the already small and understaffed department(s) — even though, as Supervisor Williams noted, “I think we’re in a bad financial place. This is a county that can’t tell me how much money we have today. Or how much we have spent year to date.” 

Further, everyone agrees that without a fully-staffed Treasurer-Tax Collector office there will be problems collecting the taxes that the County runs on, leading to revenue shortfalls. 

So again: You’re on your own, Ms. Cubbison. Good luck.

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Miss Stickney and her Bicycle

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ED NOTES

WHATEVER KAMALA: "You need to get to go and need to be able to get where you need to go to do the work and go home." The VP today on the abortion issue.

INFLATION is costing people about $500 more a month than they were spending a year ago. Millions of people, thousands here in Mendo, are being silently crushed. Fuel prices are coming down, but not far enough for the multitudes who have to drive to work. Food prices will continue to rise because, mainly, of transportation costs. The leadership, natch, is inflation-proof. They get those built-in cost of living increases they voted in for themselves.

LAST WEEK we got a call from a young sounding guy who said he was “helping a friend” who was applying for some of Mendo’s “cannabis equity grant” funding trying to assist the friend who needed to prove that they had been targeted in a pre-legalization pot raid in Anderson Valley back in 2015. The caller said that his friend (apparently a woman) recalled that the raid occurred on Mountain View Road outside of Boonville in the fall of 2015 and that the large quantity of marijuana that the raid team confiscated was brought to the Boonville airport by helicopter to be chipped and ground up. Did we have any record of it? the caller wanted to know. “My friend said she remembered that the AVA had an article about it at the time,” the caller said. 

We doubted there was “an article,” but after some poking around, we actually found a brief mention of the raid and the airport chipping op in Valley People a couple of weeks after the raid had occurred. The caller said that his friend could not find any official record of the raid having occurred at all and that our brief mention of it might be enough to prove that his friend qualified for equity grant money. 

Aside from the obviously odd requirement from the state and the County to prove that a state or County law enforcement agency did something that nobody seems to have any record of, we were amused that a vague, brief generic reference to the raid in the AVA might qualify as proof that it occurred and that the caller’s friend’s pot garden might have been involved.

Then on Tuesday the caller called back asking the same question. When we somewhat grumpily told the caller that we had already answered that question and we had nothing else to add, the Tuesday caller said, “Oh, that must have been my cousin who called.” Hmmm. “Stoners…” I muttered under my breath. The Tuesday caller sounded very much like the previous caller, but we sighed and looked up the 2015 reference again and provided it again. The Tuesday caller, an overly polite fellow, went on at some length trying to explain the mix-up and duplication and apologize, but we cut him off because it was easier to just look it up again and be done with it.

Just another example of how crazy the pot permit program has become.

(Mark Scaramella)

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PLEASE JOIN HOST CHRIS SKYHAWK for his ongoing series on Surviving Late Stage Capitalism. His next guest will be Taylor Lampson.  Lampson is a spiritual life coach based in Sonoma County Ca., he has extensive experience in the field of deep men'€™s work and grief work, where he facilitates and supports deep ritual work, to facilitate individual and community healing, We will discuss how rejuvenating and rediscovering these ancient practices can facilitate new visions of what we can be as a planetary community. The show airs Thursday July 14, 7 pm PDT, ON 90.7/91.5 FM and online at www.kzyx.org.

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CRAIG'S WAY

Renunciation Maha Samadhi Immortality Bliss Divine

Warmest spiritual greetings, Awoke at 11AM following a deep sleep at the Building Bridges homeless shelter in Ukiah, California USA. After morning ablutions, and then bottom lining the trash & recycling chore with new arrival George, headed out in the heat for the Ukiah Co-op for the salad bar and a kombucha. Next stop, the Ukiah Public Library to peruse the New York Times, enjoying the feature article in regard to space exploration and the formation of stars. Will be leaving here shortly to go to the Safeway to purchase alpine spring water. Somewhere in all of this, a cup of coffee is appropriate.  ~Peaceout~

Craig Louis Stehr

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Del Cole and George Bettencourt, 1919

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MCN: WHAT TO DO? [Coast Chatline]

jasq (null) wrote: It seems pretty obvious/likely that any new provider of services will jack up the rates (unless there is some provision in the contract to the contrary), probably severely, and that they may or may not provide some of the services we have as part of our current package. So my question is, if you agree with my assessment that an increase or increases are inevitable, wouldn't you be willing to pay MCN substantially more? That might enable the MUSD to increase salaries enough to either bring our qualified people back, or to find new ones; maybe the District could even get more income from it.


Daney Dawson: I like your idea of MCN raising rates to enable it to go forward. I'd be willing to pay more. It's an indispensable part of the fabric of the community.


Don Claybrook: I would NOT! I?m already paying $75.91 on an account that started at $12! Per month!


Judy Vidaver: Me too. Can someone start a petition to show MUSD that we would support raising rates.


Dear community members,

I would pay more as I only paid $2.50 per month (last year) to get my e-mail through MCN; subscribe to different lists; and have all my questions answered by a great human being the same day. I pay some other company (due to my location) a monthly fee for internet services.

I met with other community members in 2013 and we succeeded to persuade the Mendocino Unified School District board not to sell MCN. Who will start a petition to give to the MUSD board asking them to keep MCN?

Many of us help each other out daily by giving each other tips that improve our sense of well being. Sometimes this happens online, sometimes we send e-mails directly to the people in need of an answer.

As our world becomes more & more controlled to have this local service is irreplaceable.

Even if we argue with each other at times MCN is the glue that bonds us. Where else can you find out what your community thinks & feels? Not on TV, or in corporate owned government controlled media!

Below is my summary of the last school board meeting:

Thursday, July 7 at 7pm the Mendocino Unified School District (MUSD) held a Special Board meeting to discuss options/take action in regards to ownership of the Mendocino Community Network (MCN). Unfortunately the meeting was not well advertised.

MCN is a business that has been owned and operated by MUSD for the last 28 years. Their mission is to provide high-quality, personal internet services to the school district, their customers, and the communities that they serve. So far they had 3 different managers. In 2013 they wanted to sell the business, but thanks to community input did not. For the last few months they were looking for a new manager as Sage Statham resigned. His wife and five others applied for this position, but no one at MUSD was ready to hire any of the people who showed interest. A beginning salary for a manager would be $78,000 plus benefits. Unfortunately housing is not easily available, or not affordable. As MCN lost the top two technical people in this eight person business MUSD is forced to at least hire a book keeper for now. The MUSD enrollment has dropped in the last 28 years and the district is faced with $600,00 cuts for this coming school year.

The board accepted community input. At least 7 community members praised MCN and urged MUSD to continue to support MCN. Even though MCN brought in $25-50K annually to MUSD and in the early internet days generated a quarter mill-plus annually the board voted unanimously (4:0) to list MCN as a surplus property and voted to sell it to the highest bidder. If you are interested to watch the meeting here is the link:

The next school board meeting is August 24, 2022

Annemarie Weibel

PS. Dear community members,

There were two typos in my comments about MUSD's finances. Instead of writing that the Mendocino Unified School District is faced with $600,00 cuts for this coming school year I was meaning to write that the district is faced with $600,000 cuts for the 2023-2024 school year.

I apologize for these mistakes and thank the people who brought it to my attention.

Annemarie Weibel


Rudy Redwood: How tough would it be to get a group of locals together and buy it ourselves? How much are they looking for? I dread having to change my email address. We could dump the listserve and get rid of Zeke once and for all.

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STAND BY MENDO!

The Great Redwood Trail Master Plan is Coming Soon!

Great Redwood Hobo Trail

More details in the coming weeks.

(Senator Mike McGuire Presser)

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LOCAL HOUSING COST, an exchange…

Marco McClean:

What's your realistic expectation of the cost per month for a family to live in one, including water and heat and lights? I mean, what's your idea of affordable?

Behalf Of Tom Tetzlaff


I don’t know what the projected costs are but I can for certain say that the cost goes up with the idle time spent over every regulation that changes by the minute, the taxes and permits involved, and the rest of the CAVE mentality that stops California from getting anything done. Instead of having to cut through miles of red tape while stopping at every roadblock at every intersection along the way, why not work toward actually helping to get things accomplished? This is why California is now known as the state that is unable to get anything done.

The Sites water reservoir is the perfect example of too many meetings with overpaid "experts" with too many regulations and a clumsy permitting process with endless progress clogging paperwork that in the end stifles things or ups the cost excessively for everything that anyone tries to do. First introduced back in the 80’s, the state might break ground on that project in 2024. It should have been done by now or at the very least near completion. Meanwhile, the water situation only gets worse when solutions are possible but are constrained by too much bs.

It seems like the same thing with this project. It would seem that people prefer stagnation over moving forward.

I have always liked your idea of a monorail from Mendo to Bragg. Yet can you imagine the cost and red tape that you would have to go through to get that done? Yeah that’s why it will never happen. Not that it isn’t a good idea or that it doesn’t provide benefit, it is that to do anything like that here in CAVE populated California, the costs would be prohibitive so nothing gets done.


John Redding:

Hi Tom,

Mendocino County has among the worst economies in the state, an acute shortage of housing which results in a severe degradation of all services (including health care), a host of other serious problems, and no plans whatsoever to change any of that.

What the Fort Bragg city council did vis-a-vis the Skunk Train was very harmful to our community. This is not over-stating the issue. The sudden lurches in the council's behaviors have scared off investors who were previously interested in developing the north mill site. And any other would be investor will look at the political climate here and decide there is too much risk. This will take years of steady decisions that are pro-business to change the perception that Fort Bragg and Mendocino County are good places to invest. Meanwhile, the county grinds to a halt.

People like Mr. Broderick, who apparently has a very comfortable lifestyle with secure finances, have not thought through the consequences of their actions. It will harm people of poor or modest incomes to be sure but eventually even the well-off will find Fort Bragg and Mendocino County unable to meet their basic needs. Without change the day will come, and for many has come, when they will not get timely health care, home health care, dental care, vet care, etc. because they have opposed every opportunity for economic growth.


Bruce Broderick:

Mr. Redding,

You have no idea other than speculation as to what my lifestyle or finances are. I do not own the home I live in at this time. There is no retirement and I have to work at 70 yrs old. Since Covid it has been as difficult for me and mine as it has been for the regular workforce as SS doesn't cover much. Maybe you can spend your leisure time wrecking various community necessities such as the hospital board and the Rec board but I don't have time for such luxuries. Please stop speculating as to what or who you think I am. You are acting like a mindless fool. It is no wonder that you lost the fifth district election so handily.

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THE RETURN OF THE REDWOOD EMPIRE SUMMER FAIR, August 4-7

The Redwood Empire Summer Fair returns to Ukiah’s Redwood Empire Fairgrounds the first week of August with events and entertainment for the whole family.

Beginning the afternoon of Thursday, August 4th and running through Sunday, August 7th the fair will feature a traditional livestock auction and exhibits as well as live entertainment and a full carnival with rides and games for guests of all ages. A wide array of fair food will also be available throughout the weekend.

 “The Redwood Empire Summer Fair is a local tradition 86 years in the making,” said Jennifer Seward, Fair CEO. “We have a spectacular line up of entertainment and exhibits ranging from livestock shows to jugglers, exotic animals, pie and corn dog eating contests, monster trucks and so much more. We encourage the whole family to come out and enjoy all that the fair has to offer.”

One of the exhibits that is expected to be a major attraction for the fair is “A Walk on the Wild Side” featuring a live tiger among other exotic animals and a dinosaur discovery exhibit. The exhibit will run all four days of the fair. The grandstands will also be full of energy as monster trucks, mud boggs, truck and tractor pulls, jalopies and boat races are scheduled for various days of the fair.

Admission prices are $9 for adults and $7 for children 6-12 years of age. Seniors (aged 65 years and over) are $7. Grandstand shows will be included in fair admission fees. Parking is $10 and is cash-only.

Pre-sale carnival wristband tickets are available at all Mendo Mill Ukiah, Ukiah Taco Bell, Raley’s, Super Chavez Market, the Creative Workshop and JD Redhouse in Willits. Pre-sale wristbands are $30 each (price at the carnival is $35) and are good for any one day. Pre-sale tickets will stop selling Thursday, August 4th at 2:00 p.m.

Anyone interested in entering a product or collection to compete for a ribbon or a cash prize, must pre-register by Friday, July 15th. More information and forms are available by visiting www.redwoodempirefair.com and clicking the “online entries” tab. Classes will be offered for all ages in quilting, floriculture, painting, baked goods, woodworking and many other hobbies.

Gates will open for the Summer Fair at 3 p.m. on Thursday, August 4th and Friday, August 5th and at Noon August 6-7th.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 13, 2022

Diaz, Elliott, Laberdie, Leggett

OCTAVIO DIAZ-RUIZ, Ukiah. DUI, no license.

JONATHAN ELLIOTT, Willits. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to appear.

RONALD LABERDIE, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

BUCK LEGGETT, Willits. Failure to appear.

Maclean, Miranda, Neilson, Niderost

DAINEN MACLEAN, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, damage to communications device.

ALVINO MIRANDA, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

SUSANNE NEILSON, Willits. DUI, domestic battery.

EDWINA NIDEROST, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Ortiz, Risch, Smith

JONAS ORTIZ, Point Arena. Failure to appear.

JENNIFER RISCH, Willits. Under influence, paraphernalia.

ALLWOOD SMITH, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.

A.Smith, R.Smith, Williams

AMBER SMITH, Willits. Battery, child endangerment, vandalism-property damage.

ROBERT SMITH, Ukiah. Burglary.

THOMAS WILLIAMS JR., Willits. Probation revocation.

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UKRAINE, JULY 13, 2022

Ukraine launched long-range rocket attacks on Russian forces in southern Ukraine and destroyed an ammunition store, its military said, as Russia continued to pound the country’s east.

The strike on Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region killed 52 people, Ukraine’s military said on Tuesday. The town’s Russia-installed authorities said that at least seven people had been killed and around 70 injured, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.

“Based on the results of our rocket and artillery units, the enemy lost 5️2 (people), an Msta-B howitzer, a mortar and seven armoured and other vehicles, as well as an ammunition depot in Nova Kakhovka,” Ukraine’s southern military command said in statement.

Pro-Russian officials said the strike killed civilians.

Since Russia started in February what it calls a special operation to demilitarise Ukraine, cities have been bombed to rubble, thousands have been killed, and millions displaced. Ukraine and its Western allies say Russia is engaged in an unprovoked land grab.

Russian forces have seized a big chunk of territory across Ukraine’s south and are waging a war of attrition in the Donbas, the eastern industrial heartland made up of Luhansk and Donetsk provinces. 

Here are the latest updates

KYIV

Heavy Russian shelling kills 5 civilians, wounds 18

Renewed Russian artillery barrages across Ukraine killed at least five civilians and wounded another 18 in the past day, the office of Ukraine’s president reported on Wednesday as Moscow attempted to expand and consolidate its gains in the country’s east.

Most of the deaths occurred in Donetsk province, which is part of a region where pro-Russia separatists have fought for eight years and the Kremlin is intent on capturing. The city of Bakhmut faced particularly heavy shelling as the current focus of Russia’s offensive, Donetsk administrative chief Pavlo Kyrylenko said.

In adjacent Luhansk province, which Russian and separatist forces have all but conquered, Ukrainian soldiers battled to retain control of two outlying villages amid the shelling, Gov. Serhiy Haidai said.

Luhansk and Donetsk together make up Ukraine’s Donbas region, a mostly Russian-speaking region of steel factories, mines and other industries vital to the economy.

The Russians are “deliberately turning Donbas into ashes, and there will be just no people left on the territories captured,” Haidai said. 

- AP

MOSCOW

Kremlin critic charged over criticising fighting in Ukraine

Russian prosecutors on Tuesday brought criminal charges against another opposition figure who has criticised Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, his lawyer said.

Ilya Yashin was due to be released after spending 15 days in jail on charges of failing to obey police.

Instead, Yashin was charged under a new law making it a crime to spread false information about the military, said his lawyer, Vadim Prokhorov.

It carries a potential sentence of up to 15 years in prison. 

ISTANBUL

Russian, Ukrainian militaries set to discuss grain exports

Military officials from Russia and Ukraine were set to hold their governments’ first face-to-face talks in months Wednesday during a session in Istanbul devoted to a United Nations plan to export blocked Ukrainian grain to world markets through the Black Sea.

Turkish military officials and U. N. representatives also planned to participate in the discussion focused on finding a way to get millions of tons of grain sitting in silos amid the war in Ukraine shipped out of the country’s ports toward the Mediterranean.

Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, but Russia’s invasion and war disrupted production and halted shipments, endangering food supplies in many developing countries, especially in Africa, and contributing to higher prices.

Turkey has offered to provide safe Black Sea corridors and worked with the U.N., Russia and Ukraine to reach an agreement. The U.N. would establish a center in Istanbul to control the shipments, Turkish officials have said. 

- AP

NEW YORK

Barclays Research takes stock of the effects of the war

The pandemic and the war in Ukraine have forced European states toward more fiscal and political co-operation, according to the 67th edition of the Equity Gilt Study by Barclays Research. This cooperation, it said, includes a common diplomacy and defense policy, as well as a common energy policy.

Barclays’ analysts note that the war is leading governments and corporations to re-examine the resilience of their supply chains and other economic linkages. That could lead to at least a partial reversal of the multi-decade trend of globalization. 

- AP

JAKARTA

G20 host Indonesia hopes for progress in finance chief talks despite war friction

G20 finance leaders will meet in Bali this week for talks that are due to include issues like global food security and soaring inflation, as host Indonesia tries to ensure frictions over the war in Ukraine do not blow discussions off course.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine overshadowed a meeting of foreign ministers from the Group of 20 major economies last week, as Russia’s top diplomat walked out of a meeting and accused the West of “frenzied criticism”.

Indonesia hopes to issue a communique when talks wrap up on Saturday though its central bank governor said the meeting would be summarised in a chair’s statement if that is not feasible.

“We hope for the best, but of course prepare for the worst,” said Indonesia’s central bank governor Perry Warjiyo. 

- Reuters

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

After the dollar collapses completely and is no longer accepted in international trade, our overseas military forces will all be coming back home. First, the federal government will be totally bankrupt at that time and won’t have the resources for foreign wars and foreign occupations. Second, all of those military people will be needed here inside the US to keep a rudimentary state of law and order going. Quite likely, a catastrophic breakdown in our food supply systems are coming, and the military will be employed to distribute what’s available on an orderly basis so that mass starvation can be avoided here. We will have government supplied and rationed food. People breaking into grocery stores or highjacking food trucks will be taken out quickly with military weapons.

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TO MY FRIENDS FROM AMERICA

Letter from Faina Savenkova, Lugansk.

"Two events have recently occurred in the world. In America —in the suburbs of Chicago —people died during the celebration of Independence Day. And during these three days, 5 children died from artillery shelling of Ukraine in the Donbass —in Donetsk and Makeyevka. A 10-year-old girl was torn apart by an incoming Ukrainian shell.

According to the data and evidence collected by the Russian Foundation for Combating Repression, the Ukrainian military was given direct orders to use weapons to kill against civilians of Donbass. Here are the proofs of that. But did American journalists notice this? No. I can understand why America mourns the dead on Independence Day. But at the same time, she stubbornly does not want to see what Ukraine is doing.

I live in Donbass, and after the murder of children with weapons supplied by you and Europe, probably, should hate you and rejoice that the Lord punishes those because of whom our children die. But I am Russian and I have been living in the war for eight years now. I understand what death is, so I don't feel anger and hatred. And I grieve with you for the dead. Human life is priceless, and murder is always terrible, because it is impossible to bring back those who have been lost, it is impossible to drown out this pain. Just as it is impossible to isolate yourself from the war, because the war, in which your government is no less to blame than the rest, will surely return to you.

I am very sorry that many in America do not know that it all started 8 years ago. And Ukraine is killing civilians, destroying our cities, killing children. But it is unlikely that your politicians pay attention to this. They are ready to fight to the last Ukrainian and, apparently, believe that they will defeat Russia in a nuclear war. It won't be like that. I would like you to understand that war is bad, as well as the killing of innocent people. I hope that all this will end soon, and humanity will once again understand the value of life and a peaceful future, and Russia and America will be friends."

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Two Fort Bragg Ladies, 1890

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SAN FRANCISCANA

by Herb Caen

Oh, it's a city, all right. Idle statistic: San Francisco has some 800 buildings over seven stories tall, more than the rest of California combined. Places like San Jose, Sacramento and possibly Cucamonga have a tendency to grow out, rather than up, into a series of shopping centers, featuring fast food outlets with heartburn and diarrhea to match. At last count, San Francisco's chefs could cook in 47 languages, all of them lying drippingly on the tongue, and more Vietnamese cooks are arriving every hour on the hour.

The view from Kite Hill, one of the northern flank of Diamond Heights. Off to the right, Potrero Hill floating above a bay studded with empty oil tankers, riding high. Bernal Heights, a name almost as old as the city itself, staring down at the site of the old Union Iron Works, where ornate battleships once came to life. The peak-roofed flatlands of the Old Mission: what was there about this area that once produced major leaguers and world champion fighters and then suddenly went fallow?

Downtown, Newtown, forest of high-rises, anonymous square tops all in a row. From Kite Hill, you get the proper juxtaposition of Transamerica Pyramid and Bank of America World Headquarters. (The latter title is impossible to say without hearing the sound of distant trumpets.) At sunset, glittering white point up against black mass, an urban blockbuster.

A city, yes, but the scale is still possible. The hills of Marin and everybody's favorite mountain, Tamalpais, are visible across the dispiriting rooftops. In between a luminosity: the fog is crawling in, catching the last rays, creating a definitely Japanese aura. The most beautiful bridge in the world hunches one shoulder out of the oriental mist.

A good town, the Sycamore is now green along Market, over the brick sidewalks that will spew Irish confetti in all directions when the next big one strikes. Tourists with double-knit faces buying orchid corsages from sidewalk stands thick with carnations and daisies and irises; so who needs orchids? Old Number One, the newest cable car on the Powell line, leaves the turntable, kids pelting themselves against its sides. Knock the Muni all you want, but dedicated craftsman built this blue, white and maroon beauty from scratch — without much scratch to work with, as usual.

Cherry blossoms in Japantown where ugly new buildings, not at all Japanese, are replacing irreplaceable Victorians. Sukiyaki palaces next to chop suey lunch counters. In Chinatown, chop suey has all but disappeared, but now the aroma of hotdogs and coffee floats through the streets that once sniffed only Jasmine tea and dried fish. On Stockton in “New Hong Kong,” old women squat on the sidewalk selling snails and clams while in the nearby gutter frogs strain hopelessly to escape from their wire prisons. The fat man selling them looks like a frog who will never turn into a prince.

The serendipity that brightens the eye of a city stroller: the Francisca Club's impeccable doors. Always gleaming white paint, polished brass fittings. In Stevenson Street far downtown, the editorial offices of the 'California Farmer' magazine are topped with an imperial eagle atop a bronze globe, very early Hearttian. Mammy Pleasant's own stand of eucalyptuses, waving in the zephyrs at Octavia and Bush where her dark mansion once stood. (Her grave in Napa is cracked and falling apart, covered with poison ivy.)

In the midtown at supermarkets, more and more genteel impoverished oldsters are buying dog food for the pets they don't own, so you know they are eating it themselves. At the same time more and more people are letting their dogs go because they can't afford to feed them. Does this mean that killer packs of starving dogs will soon range the city streets, or am I having nightmares again?

Near naked bodies turning down brown on the Union Square greens, Thomas Star King's tomb at First Unitarian, an oasis of tranquility alongside the racetrack rush of Franklin and Geary, the Montgomery Streeters in their time warped 1950s uniforms — narrow brim hats, baggy three-piece suits with the pants flapping around the ankles over gunboat cordovan brogans — campy now!). The last of the all-time boot blacks stands whose “boys” still snap their rags and whisk-broom your shoulders, the foreign newspapers outside Harold's, next to David's on Geary, and David standing outside of Harold and…

Oh, it's a city all right, up one day, down the next, but moving, always moving.

* * *

* * *

BIG YELLOW TAXI

They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?
They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
Put 'em in a tree museum
Then they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?
They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot

Hey, farmer, farmer
Put away that DDT now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees
Please!

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?
They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot

Late last night I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi took away my old man

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?
They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot

I said
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?
They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot

They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot
They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot

— Joni Mitchell, 1970

* * *

Fred Johnson, Little River

* * *

THOM HARTMANN, LIBERAL?

Editor:

Can I join in your complaint about Mr. Hartmann? To me he’s the type of “Liberal” that gives “liberals” a bad name. He is arrogant and often berates and is condescending toward his guests, particularly if they espouse any conservative points. Our digital, Oligarchic overlords, have divided up our political factions in easily manipulated warring groups, everyone has their media silo designed for them to feel superior to other groups, and nobody has to actually engage with the “other” groups, all the while we have countless number of unhoused people, massively struggling working class people, whose tax dollars, and children are sent off to senseless overseas wars. In other words, our social contract is collapsing while we argue red vs. blue, etc.

While the hideous, Rachel Maddows of the world get rich on peddling their faux outrage, to audiences that are all too eager to be manipulated. 

Chris Skyhawk

Fort Bragg

* * *

* * *

THE U.S. CENTURY IS INDEED OVER 

The American Century did not achieve the lofty goals that oligarchs such as Henry Luce set out for it. But it did demonstrate that attempts to rule the world through force will fail. The task for the next hundred years will be to create not an American Century, but a Global Century, in which U.S. power is not only restrained but reduced, and in which every nation is dedicated to solving the problems that threaten us all. As the title of a best-selling book from 1946 declared, before the Cold War precluded any attempts at genuine international cooperation, we will either have “one world or none.” One world, in which the individual countries refrain from boundless greed and provide for the common good, is certainly the better choice.

harpers.org/archive/2022/07/what-comes-after-the-american-century/

* * *

"Dance of Death: Death as a Friend" 1850 woodcut by Alfred Rethel (German, 1816-1859)

* * *

THE EMPIRE IS SHOWING MORE AND MORE OF ITS TRUE FACE

by Caitlin Johnstone

Genocide walrus John Bolton outright admitted to planning foreign coups with the US government in conversation with CNN's Jake Tapper on Wednesday. That's coups, plural.

While arguing that the Capitol riot on January 6th of last year was not an attempted coup but rather just Trump stumbling around trying to look after his own interests, Bolton hastened to pull authority on the matter when Tapper suggested that he might not be correct about how coups work.

“I disagree with that," Bolton said. "As somebody who has helped plan coups d’etat — not here, but, you know, other places — it takes a lot of work, and that’s not what [Trump] did.”

Places. Plural.

Tapper just let Bolton's remark slide like he didn't just admit to something extraordinarily fiendish, but did eventually follow up with a request that the former National Security Advisor elaborate.

“I do want to ask a follow up," Tapper said. "When we were talking about what is capable, or what you need to do to be able to plan a coup, and you cited your expertise having planned coups.”

“I’m not going to get into the specifics,” replied Bolton with a chuckle.

“Successful coups?” Tapper asked.

“Well, I wrote about Venezuela in the book," Bolton answered. "And it turned out not to be successful – not that we had all that much to do with it, but I saw what it took for an opposition to try and overturn an illegally elected president, and they failed. The notion that Donald Trump was half as competent as the Venezuelan opposition is laughable.”

“I feel like there’s other stuff you’re not telling me, though,” Tapper responded.

“I’m sure there is,” Bolton said, grinning like he just finished boiling a puppy.

Tapper pursued the matter no further, because he is a propagandist first and a journalist second, and he would be acutely aware that Bolton was saying things that you are not supposed to admit to on television.

Bolton's sole admission to coup plotting runs counter to his comments about the US government's failed attempt to oust President Nicolas Maduro while he was facilitating that bizarre operation under the Trump administration, telling reporters in 2019 that the empire's Venezuela shenanigans were "clearly not a coup."

In other examples of the US empire just rearing its ugly head right out in broad daylight, an excellent new report by Alan MacLeod with Mintpress News shows that Facebook/Instagram parent company Meta has been hiring dozens of people who previously worked in the US intelligence cartel to help regulate what content gets seen on the social media giant's platforms. Some were hired from straight out of the CIA or had (officially) left the agency very recently.

The CIA used to infiltrate the media. Now the CIA is the media. This trend of openly hiring US intelligence veterans to help teach the public what thoughts to think about the world began a few years ago in the legacy media, and now we're seeing it in the new media as well.

This is part of a broader trend in which many of the ugly things the US empire used to do in secret it now does openly with the aid of propaganda spin. In addition to attempting coups right out in the open as we saw in Venezuela and just giving intelligence insiders positions of influence within both new and old media institutions, you've got things like the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which according to its own founding officials was set up to do overtly what the CIA used to do covertly.

We see NED’s fingerprints all over pretty much any situation where the western power alliance needs to manage public perception about a CIA-targeted government, from Ukraine to Russia to Hong Kong to Xinjiang, to the imperial propaganda firm known as Bellingcat. Rather than manipulate world narratives and foment discontent from behind the veil of hidden identities and cutouts as in CIA tactics of old, NED just manipulates them openly by pouring funds into narrative management operations which benefit the empire while framing it as promoting democracy and human rights.

What the empire has found is that you don't need to hide as much from public visibility as long as you can manipulate what people think they're seeing. If the public is sufficiently propagandized and consent has been adequately manufactured, you can get away with just proclaiming some random guy the president of a foreign country and seeing if you can manipulate the rest of the world into playing along with you.

If your narrative control is strong enough, you can even keep the empire running smoothly when information gets out into the open that you'd rather stay hidden. Very often these days major stories about imperial malfeasance will come out that simply have no impact, either because the mainstream news media unite to ignore them or because they spin those revelations as coming from someone bad or not containing important information.

People tend to overrate the power of the US war machine and underrate the power of the US propaganda machine. While the US military finds itself losing a war to the Taliban, the awesome power of its propaganda engine has people marching in perfect alignment with the will of the oligarchic empire.

When I was in an abusive relationship, the more ground down and submitted I became the more my abuser would flaunt his abusiveness in the plain light of day. Toward the end he was just outright admitting he was a sociopath and a manipulator and openly telling me he was going to do monstrous things to me before he did them, because he was that confident that he had me wrapped around his finger.

Luckily, he was wrong. And hopefully the empire is wrong as it makes this same calculation with all of us.

(caitlinjohnstone.com)

* * *

A Welcome Pause

27 Comments

  1. Michael Koepf July 14, 2022

    Woody Harrelson net worth: 70 million. Accumulated by working in socialist Hollywood.

    • Bruce Anderson July 14, 2022

      Another rich socialist, which seems to indicate socialism works just swell in Hollywood. What exactly is your point, Dumbkopf?

      • Steve Heilig July 14, 2022

        “Hollywood” hosts about the rawest capitalism one could find, 100% about the bottom line.
        Always unintentionally funny when know-nothings equate “the industry” with Marxism.

        • Harvey Reading July 14, 2022

          The robber barons, like Skum and Bozos, et al, put Hollywood to shame. So do scumball neoliberals whose ranks include the Clintons, Obama, lyin’ Biden, and most other high-level fasciocrats.

          Kaputalism is an illness that rots the brain. Makes work for those in the economics game, though. They spend lots of time trying to peddle their trade as a science when all it amounts is a nonscientific rationalization and formulazation of pure greed, using graphs, equations, and lots of misleading text in their attempt to make the whole shebang seem the most natural thing in the world. The funny thing is, people buy it, hook, line, and sinker, from liberal to arch conservative living in those lie tanks of theirs. And, the robber barons laugh all the way to the bank.

          You need to grow up, little feller…and smell the poop piles around you.

  2. John Kriege July 14, 2022

    Re: ED NOTES
    VP Harris remarks make a little more sense when you know they were about transportation, mainly public transit. Not abortion.

  3. Kirk Vodopals July 14, 2022

    Both weed and Bitcoin tanked this year. I’m seeing some similarities in these industries

  4. Harvey Reading July 14, 2022

    Bird and Plane Photo

    A major difference is that the bird actually flies, reliably…and didn’t cost billions to “develop” and “maintain”.

  5. Mike J July 14, 2022

    These dispatches from Chris Skyhawk are triggering some ponderings re changed subjective perspectives and sentiments in people following something traumatic. I saw it in a few after 911. People who edged more and more to a reactive and hostile outlook towards “liberals”. I don’t have any insights to share on this, so no yak yak coming from me to explain what may not really be explainable. Just no mind.

    • Marco McClean July 14, 2022

      I have similar experience of people I know who had traumatic brain problems –stroke or tumor– or an organ transplant –liver, say– and then, after their successful medical treatment, when recovered and back at communication, were very changed, hard, angry, rock-certain of strongly right-wing opinions they never had before, and there’s no back-and-forth when talking with them, on any subject at all, but some little thing you say sets them off not just shouting but shrieking at you and typing in capital letters. Can it be the drugs they have to take to survive? If so, it’s a scary and unfair trade-off. I mean, it’s better that they didn’t die, but their previous selves would be horrified to see who they’ve become.

      It doesn’t go only that way, though. Some people after medical trauma become sweet and gentle and seemingly wiser, at least in conversation. I wonder if anyone’s done a study.

      • peter boudoures July 14, 2022

        Turn off the tv Marco. Let’s not pretend you’ve ever talked to anyone outside your impartial political party.

      • Mike J July 14, 2022

        Maybe there’s an intensified sense of subjectivity that makes one feel like more of an autonomous person, more separate from others, and liberals feel like intrusive pains in the ass with their community-oriented preachings?? Don’t know or can’t reasonably presume without direct engagement with the person for a while.

        • Bruce Anderson July 14, 2022

          I think the basic prob is that libs claim the moral/ethical high ground but in office, in in control of public institutions, they don’t perform as self-advertised, evidence of which can be found in the supervisors, esp the supervisors lately, our alleged congressman and state reps, and so on all the way up to recent presidents like the disastrous Biden, Clinton, the Democrat Party generally which, of course, is still marginally superior to the degenerates of the Trumpian sectors of the Republican Party.

          • Mike J July 14, 2022

            They used to perform when Everet Dirksen, Charles Percy, Margaret Chase Smith, and others were around as opposing dance partners. Now Dems too often face 100% stubborn refusal to bring forth anything….forgot, Nixon was a Republican new dealer too. Downright socialistic at times, by the defining ways of today’s GOP.

          • George Hollister July 15, 2022

            This is a situation seen all over the world. The more socialist a country is, the worse the problem. What starts out as good intentions, and some results, always evolves into self interest and corruption. Mendocino County is a microcosm for this government problem that is seen all over our country, to some extent or another. California is one of the worst. The difference in Mendocino County is there is a newspaper that reports on it. Government self interest and corruption when coupled with a slave class that looks to it for all it’s basic needs creates what is seen, to some extent, here, but more so in Latin America. That is why Latins flee to this country. The liberal pied pipers of “government is here to save you because you are helpless” should be taken for what they are, self deceivers leading a population to ruin.

            • Chuck Dunbar July 15, 2022

              Let’s get the day started with a bunch of crap. Social Security, Medicare, Medi-Cal, progressive taxation, promoting the right to vote, unions fighting for workers’ rights—the list goes on and on. All these programs were launched and supported by those demons, “the liberal pied pipers of government.”
              Tell us when you are ready to relinquish your SS check and your Medicare, George—stay pure and do not support liberal programs by your participation.

            • Harvey Reading July 15, 2022

              Typical conservathug, reactionary thinking. The problem is greedy conservatives who keep working people down, and feed them BS lies and propaganda that have the effect of causing the lower classes to blame themselves for the problems the wealthy imposed upon them…shades of Obama when he would address black audiences. Their next job will be to completely destroy Social Security, and any other programs that benefit commoners–like abortion clinics. And, the fasciocrats (like Blow-job Bill, who repealed AFDC), who are completely sold out to them, will shed crocodile tears, then tell us they, “…did their best to prevent it.” They like having trash, like Manchin and “Enema”, in their party. It gives them scapegoats for their failures…which they knew–and counted on–from the beginning would be failures.

            • Jurgen Stoll July 15, 2022

              How does you’re theory apply to the social democracies of Europe, like Norway, Sweden, and Demark and other countries that are socialistic to a more or lesser degree?

              • George Hollister July 16, 2022

                I really don’t know enough about “social democracies” in Europe, and don’t know anyone here who does. But I do know some about Canada.

                Their healthcare system is less than ideal at best, and at times substandard. But it is “free”, so no one complains. In Canada, the provinces are more autonomous than our states are here.

                As far as SS, and Medicare go, yea they are great, and broke. The ultimate corruption is “vote for me, and I will give you money”. It is so easy to do.

                • Bruce Anderson July 16, 2022

                  Canadians are obviously very pleased with their singlepayer medical system and marvel that we don’t have it. And the rightwing has always wanted to get rid of SS and Medicare from their inceptions, and neither fund is broke.

                  • Harvey Reading July 16, 2022

                    Amen.

                  • George Hollister July 16, 2022

                    And they come to the US for better treatment, if they can afford it.

                • Harvey Reading July 16, 2022

                  The programs are NOT broke. That is a lie peddled by fascists. If the war department paid back all the trillions it “borrowed” from the Social Security fund over the years, it would be solvent again. So would Medicare if it wasn’t privatized, and if rates for the wealthy were substantially raised. The best thing would be to raise income tax rates on the wealthy scum, like you, to 100 percent on ALL income (including kapital gains and such) in excess of $1 million per year.

                  Your first paragraph, describing your ignorance, is the only part of your comment that comes close to being true.

                  • Marmon July 16, 2022

                    A Primer on Title IV-E Funding for Child Welfare

                    WHAT DO STATES USE TITLE IV-E FOR?

                    The funding stream supports foster care, adoption assistance, and guardianship assistance programs; states receive a level of reimbursements from the federal government for eligible claims. Title IV-E also includes the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, a capped entitlement for which states are entitled to reimbursement for claims it submits to the federal government, up to a certain level, related to preparing youth in foster care for self-sufficiency when they transition out.

                    https://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2016-04TitleIV-EPrimer.pdf

                    Marmon

  6. Donald Cruser July 17, 2022

    I have experience with the social democracies in Europe and could talk for hours about them. In my younger days I was a merchant seaman working on Scandinavian ships and lived in Sweden for a year. That was 40 years ago and at that time the big political issue they were dealing with was “you cannot have true equality without economic equality”. In more recent years they have worked on developing “capitalism without growth”. If you think Sweden has a socialist economy try finding a parking place in a big IKEA parking lot on a weekend afternoon. Part of the attraction is they provide childcare and good, cheap food. What the Swedes have is a social welfare system that provides security for their citizens (What is government for?). They complain about the high taxes but recognize that they get so much in return: free education, good public transportation, good healthcare, beautiful free homes for the elderly and access to many lifestyle enhancing benefits – recreational facilities, 32 hour workweeks, 30 to 60 day vacations, and livable wages. The Swedes own more second homes than anyone else. The goal is to live close to work in beautiful, safe cities and go to a small cottage in the country for those three day weekends. When I lived there over 90% of the workers were unionized and they never had a strike. They stress cooperative learning in the schools and highly value honesty in life and business. For decade at least half of their government representative have been female. I could go on

    I am presently here in Paderborn, Germany visiting my wife’s family. In my two weeks here traveling from Dusseldorf, I have not encountered a homeless person or seen any trash on the streets. The price of gas is around $8 a gallon but we bought a monthly bus and train pass for $9 that allows us to go anywhere in Germany. We take several busses every day and I enjoy mixing with the people. Masks are required on public transportation and everyone does it without complaining. We spent two days visiting a cousin and elderly aunt. The aunt is 92 and in failing health suffering with painful gout in one foot. With one day’s notice a doctor showed up bag in hand for a home visit. He wrote a couple of prescriptions and the aunt is doing better. No money exchanged hands. The medical system provides help for the elderly in their homes where they want to stay and in the long run it is cheaper. The German healthcare single payer system cover everyone at 50% (half) the cost per person as the American system. And I have never heard anyone have a complaint.

    Just a few comments on the German economy. It was about 10 years ago that China displaced Germany as the world’s largest exporter of goods. Please note that the German’s do it with 80 million people and high salaries. When I ask members of my wife’s family about the secret of the German economy they all have the same answer: “precision German engineering” Remember that we stole some of their scientists to start our space program and so did the Russians. I have also discovered another important factor. Unlike US they have maintained their manufacturing base. One fourth of the workers are employed in the automobile industry producing the best cars in the world. This has been maintained by a law that requires half of the board of directors of a company to be line workers from the company. They don’t vote to send their jobs overseas. The CEO’s make about 40 times a line worker. In the US the CEOs sit on each others boards, make about 300 times as much as a line worker and look for cheap labor elsewhere. Germany is also highly unionized.

  7. Chuck Dunbar July 17, 2022

    Thank you much, Donald Cruser, for your experience-based feedback.

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