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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, July 16, 2022

Seasonal Temps | Retreat Hiring | DSL Update | Highway 128 | Sell MCN | Street Cousins | Little River Museum | F&G Meeting | Flower Vases | Crisis Intervention | Police Toys | AV Benefit | Garden Concerts | Career Alternative | Noyo Mill | Water Dreams | Yesterday's Catch | Spirit Lyft | Just Buried | Screams Removed | Gun Gauntlet | Newspaper Biz | Pentagon Spending | Causing Inflation | No Exit | American Fascism | With Passion | Pendulum Swing | Homer Wolfe | Breakfast Tacos | California Insulin | Marco Radio | Cajun Dance

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SEASONAL TEMPERATURES are expected for the interior this weekend through early next week. Coastal areas will continue to have near normal temperatures with the usual low clouds and patches of fog during the night and morning hours everyday through next week. (NWS)

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WE ARE HIRING on our housekeeping team at Bell Valley Retreat, looking for help 1-2 days per week cleaning bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, glamping tents and other spaces before and after booked retreats and events year round.

Pay starts at $18 per hour, higher depending on experience.

Email kendra@bellvalleyretreat.com or call 707-895-2572 to apply!

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DSL UPDATE, Week Two

Ok, first off I have to apologize. I said I would know by last Monday, but I got radio silence from AT&T. That is, until at the end of a meeting we had on Thursday where I asked about AT&T picking up the DSL customers dropped by Sonic and MCN. Apparently, AT&T has a contract with DSL Extreme to do just that, yet DSL Extreme says it can’t service customers in our area. AT&T says they’re not happy about that and are deciding what to do. 

This meeting was with a director of external services at AT&T. I was given the distinct impression that fur was flying in some back room at AT&T. We may find out more next week, so stay tuned.

— Jim Gagnon, Comptche Broadband Committee, http://comptchebits.org/

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MENDO SCHOOL BOARD DIRECTS SUPERINTENDENT TO SELL MENDOCINO COMMUNITY NETWORK

by Megan Wutzke

During the Mendocino Unified School District board meeting on July 7, the board directed Superintendent Jason Morse to begin selling the Mendocino Community Network. The board also directed Morse to hire a bookkeeper for MCN until the process is complete.

According to the board, MCN is struggling without a manager. Recently, Sage Statham and his wife Nina, the heads of MCN, resigned. As a result, MCN doesn’t have enough employees to keep the business running. As a result, MCN has halted new orders since there aren’t enough workers to carry the orders out, and customer service calls go unanswered as there is often nobody available in the office.

Many MCN customers expressed their frustrations and worries that a large internet corporation will buy MCN instead of remaining in local hands.

Tom Yates and Vicky Watts, co-owners of The Coast FM, explained that their radio station wouldn’t be on the air without MCN.

“They have allowed us to compete in the big world, made us competitive with radio stations in New York, given us access to things that people love,” Yates said. “…The whole strength of this has been local.”

Many customers questioned whether MCN had done enough to search for a new manager. However, according to Morse, MCN has been advertising the position for two months without finding a qualified candidate.

Board member Mark Morton felt the district didn’t have any other choice but to sell MCN and hope a local company would step in or a qualified manager could be found. According to Morton, having a school district run the local internet company was an unusual circumstance in any case.

While the process for selling MCN assets has started, the board can decline any bids if it finds a manager and a solution to keep MCN afloat.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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Cousins on Alder Street, Fort Bragg, 1936

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LITTLE RIVER MUSEUM—FREE—open summer weekends from 11-4.  Located at 8185 Highway One, just north of Van Damme state park, south of Glendeven Inn. Little white cottage with an architectural surprise inside. The last building in Little River with its full historic integrity intact.

This weekend featuring local artist Stella Wells Bird Houses in our gift shop and Albion’s Janet Eklund’s Old West Cowboy exhibit along with our Pomo exhibit with FREE local Pomo trail maps and a recording of spoken Pomo language.  Also see our map of the historic Little River pioneer and civil war cemetery along with genealogy and research records for the area, and a hands-on local wildlife display. Visit our web site littlerivermuseum.org or on facebook: facebook.com/littlerivermuseum.

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MENDOCINO COUNTY FISH AND GAME COMMISSION MEETING

The next meeting of the Mendocino County Fish & Game Commission will be held Tuesday, July 19, 2022, at 6:00 pm. This meeting will be conducted both in person and via Zoom webinar. The agenda and Zoom meeting information can be found on the county website at: mendocinocounty.org/government/planning-building-services/fish-game/agendas-minutes

The Mendocino County Fish & Game Commission is charged to insure that renewable natural resources including fish, game and wildlife and their habitats are conserved for this and succeeding generations of Mendocino County residents.

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(via Kym Slotte)

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FREE CRISIS INTERVENTION, DE-ESCALATION, AND DIVERSITY TRAININGS

Recognizing that handling persons with mental illness who are in crisis can be difficult and how you respond to the behavior is often the key to defusing it. These FREE crisis intervention, de-escalation, and diversity trainings will help you respond to difficult behavior in the safest, most effective way possible. The trainings are perfect for primary caregivers, educators and human service professionals who directly intervene in crisis situations. Behavioral Health and Recovery Services is partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Illness Mendocino in sponsoring Bridge The Divide. Sessions take place from 10 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 21st and 22nd, 2022, in Ukiah and Ft. Bragg.

Session 1 – Civilian Crisis Intervention: How to apply basic de-escalation techniques with diverse populations and challenging behaviors will take place on July 21, 2022, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Ft. Bragg Town Hall, 363 North Main Street, Fort Bragg or July 22, 2022, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Alex Rorabaugh Center, 1640 South State Street, Ukiah.

Session 2 – Law Enforcement Collaborative: Understanding the role of law enforcement officers in crisis intervention, and how to support them will take place on July 21, 2022, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Ft. Bragg Town Hall, 363 North Main Street, Fort Bragg or July 22, 2022, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Alex Rorabaugh Center, 1640 South State Street, Ukiah.

Lunch will be provided in both locations from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Please use this link to pre-register: surveymonkey.com/r/BridgeTheDivide. For questions or additional information, contact namimendocino@mcn.org

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MENDOCINO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE CHECKS OUT LATEST TASER TECH And An Evidence Management System

Axon Enterprise, Inc., a company that develops technology and weapons for military, law enforcement, and civilians, made a stop at the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Headquarters yesterday to showcase their latest models of tasers, unmanned aerial vehicles, and their digital evidence management systems.…

kymkemp.com/2022/07/16/mendocino-county-sheriffs-office-checks-out-latest-taser-tech-and-an-evidence-management-system/

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CONCERTS IN THE GARDEN!

The Symphony of the Redwoods is following up on last year's success. This time it'll all happen on one day, July 31st.

Roy Zajac, clarinet virtuoso, will perform Mozart and Gershwin clarinet quintets and additional pieces with a local string quartet; this concert is at 12 noon on the event lawn. Next, at 3 PM, we welcome vocalist Christianna Valentina and her tango ensemble. It'll be a concert-style program with an option to dance on the side. Midsummer smiles and a bounce in your step! Refreshments will be available; both concerts are FREE with Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden Season Pass or admission. Reservations with the Garden is encouraged.

For more information please visit Symphonyoftheredwoods.org or call the office at 707-964-0898

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LAUGHING BACK AT THE STUPIDITY of Postmodernism and the Hell it Created

Very warmest spiritual greetings to all Jivan Muktas (liberated souls), I am sitting here at the Ukiah Public Library, having just finished reading the New York Times; all of the news that is fit to print: crazy insane bankrupt deadly situations excruciatingly detailed seven days per week. Meanwhile, am chinting the Hare Krishna maha mantra continuously. I am NOT the body. I am NOT the mind. The Immortal Self I am! And I am ready to move out of the Building Bridges homeless shelter in Ukiah, California and go forth in this world, in order to destroy the demonic and return this world to righteousness. This is our career alternative to aging, and then dying on the planet earth. You have a choice. Feel free to contact me if your choice is the same as my choice. Stay centered.

Craig Louis Stehr

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Noyo Mill (photo by M.M. Hazeltine, circa 1868)

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WATER DREAMS & VISIONS

Editor,

Sometime in 2020 I began to read about this proposal called the “two basin solution.” Every time I would read an article with this reference, it would make me wonder and shudder as I would contemplate the loss of the water supply that feeds Lake Mendocino. Finally in May of 2022, I spoke to our Board of Supervisors asking them for leadership regarding this extremely important issue. I was somewhat aware of work being done by Inland Water & Power Commission and the Mendocino County Farm Bureau, but I wasn’t aware of any organized response to educate and rally the local citizens to confront this threat. Since the water supply from the Project is used for fire suppression, fisheries, domestic and agricultural water supply, recreation and tourism affecting over 600,000 people in not only our county but also Lake, Sonoma, and Marin, I believe that destruction of this infrastructure is unthinkable. As in just about every situation, solutions are complex when we wish they were easy and black or white. 

The Board of Supervisor’s recent proposal to bring a tax measure that would utilize the expiring assessment from Measure B to fund county fire and water needs certainly was never meant to be a threat to the proposed library initiative A that the virtuous and diligent efforts by our friends & neighbors qualified for the November ballot to establish permanent funding for our libraries. The issue is timing, that we are in the third year of a drought and we must deal with significant water issues county wide. 

When I began composing this letter the board was discussing Supervisor Mulhern’s proposal to use the expiring tax money from the Measure B mental health initiative to fund fire and water needs. The short time to get this on the November ballot, lack of unity with the Board regarding the percentage of taxation, etc. caused the board to recently drop water from this discussion and proposal and and focus a future tax initiative solely on funding for fire needs. 

We must have a vision for our future and therefore need to create a funding mechanism for water projects. By far the best way to bring about an initiative is from a grassroots petition effort from the citizenry. If we are successful in getting enough signatures to put a measure on the ballot we will know better if we have the needed support and also it would take 50% not 67% of the votes to make it pass. Furthermore, then the funds must be directed to this specific cause and will be non-discretionary, so everyone will be confident that the money is spent solely for this purpose. There isn’t time to do this before the next election in November. So we must begin now in preparation for the 2024 election and in the meantime hope that voters do not forget our current reality of drought which may have improved by then. 

As residents of Mendocino county we must not be naive. Those who wish to stop the less than 2% Eel River water diversion to feed the Russian River, who originally spoke of a “two basin solution”, don’t really care about leaving us any water now that PG&E has been directed to start the license surrender process. They have a severely misguided perception that the Eel can be saved by destroying the Project infrastructure and that seems to be their sole focus. The water needs for the people in the Russian River basin are not their concern. 

No matter where you live in the county, the Ukiah Valley as the county seat is an economic hub for services, supplies and jobs. If there is no water to support these endeavors what is the alternative? If Mendocino County doesn’t stand together to support the water supply from the Potter Valley Project it will be a mistake equal to our lack of insight that caused us to only end up with less than 10% of the water rights of Lake Mendocino. Hindsight is always 20-20, so we must get a united vision to move forward. I am willing to be a catalyst to help us unite to gain this water right. I welcome ideas, and participation on any level to move forward now. Please if you wish to contact me you can call me at 707 485-7567 and please leave a message.

Your neighbor, friend, and lover of Mendocino county,

Randy Dorn

Ukiah

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 15, 2022

Alford, Bedoya, Chorley

DELBERT ALFORD, Covelo. Parole violation.

ZACHARY BEDOYA, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

SHALEEN CHORLEY, Fort Bragg. Theft from elderly person, forgery. 

Cruz, Edwards, Ersland, Flores

LORENZO CRUZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia.

JOHN EDWARDS, Willits. Parole violation.

DREW ERSLAND, Ukiah. Burglary, grant theft, vandalism.

RIGOBERTO FLORES, Point Arena. Petty theft, paraphernalia, resisting, failure to appear.

Hugo, Millan, Miller

MICHAEL HUGO, Ukiah. DUI causing bodily injury, great bodily injury to person over 70 years old.

SERGIO MILLAN, Ukiah. DUI, battery, criminal threats.

CORT MILLER SR., Covelo. Felon-addict with firearm, criminal threats, protective order violation.

Miller, Ortega-Reyes, Peters, Redmill

MELISSA MILLER, Bakersfield/Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

ARTEMIO ORTEGA-REYES, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, resisting.

ARTHUR PETERS, Willits. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, disobeying court order.

PATRICK REDMILL, Ukiah. Vandalism, parole violation.

Rodriguez, Rupert, Travers

ANTONIO RODRIGUEZ, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger.

LEE RUPERT, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

REBECCA TRAVERS, Ukiah. DUI, no license, controlled substance.

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A LYFT OF SPIRIT

by William Grimes

A pleasant experience, seldom remembered in our busy days is the physical feel of something special, something significant, in one’s hand. Could be the handles of your first two wheeler, the hand of your child, the doorknob of your home, the document received at college graduation, and the hand of another whose life you helped find meaning and happiness.

While perhaps not as ethereal or unique as those above, what I held in my hand today was the equivalent of the Library of Congress, a dictionary, nearly every newspaper and radio station in the world, a million movies, sporting events, interviews with the most accomplished people in the world, and, not to forget this sleek object’s initial value: the ability to speak to another person wherever he or she may be. Of course that object’s tactile feel was the cell phone clasped where it belonged, in my hand.

I was standing on the street outside my cottage, eyes fixated on the image on the screen displaying a map of my surrounding locale. The Lyft App. Black lines on a light green backdrop represented streets with the icon of a miniature car moving one-thousandth of a centimeter every couple of seconds on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, heading in my direction. Beneath the map the depiction of a shiny black Honda Civic Sedan and its driver’s name and picture, Drupadh.

What a screen in hand beholds.

I was going to Oakland to meet son Lee at the historic Fox Theater which opened in 1928 as a movie theater, now a 2800-seat concert hall, to see David Byrne and his new band perform. 

Minutes later the Honda pulled up and I was greeted by my driver, Drupadh, his window now down, his face a brown smile. I figured him about thirty, thought he was Indian or Paki. The black car was spotless, gleaming in the Marin County sun. Temperature inside I guessed to be 70 degrees and it felt like Christmas Eve in Miami.

As I settled into the back passenger seat he said, “Hello, John.” I was called John by all Lyft and Uber drivers because I registered for their Apps with my full name: John William Grimes.

I hadn’t spoken to anyone in nearly two days and so I was pleased to hear a human voice. To do that I’d learned over the years of being somewhere with someone I didn’t know the best practice to initiate dialogue was to begin with something related to the other person. Something not directly personal but related to his job or company and yet not bland. Like “How’s business?” or “Do you like driving for Lyft?” Nothing signals a pedestrian persona like the use of a cliché. The obvious should always be left for conversation between your own ears.

“You know the image from the GPS on my Lyft screen your car was about a quarter of a mile behind where you actually were, or now are. I’ve noticed this before.”

Drupadh said, “Yes that’s true. Particularly when there are several quick consecutive turns. Small streets. The GPS seems to fall behind but only for a moment or two,” he added, pivoting in his seat to treat me a three quarter picture of his handsome bronze face.

I liked his succinct and informative reply. Some drivers talk too much. Some have to be told to turn off their radio. Others never speak even after my initial probe. Yet the many—those with intelligence, curiosity and personality are treasured gems. 

I had the intuitive feeling Drupadh was one. And so I immediately decided to invest some time and thought to chatting him up.

“Nice car. New? ” A brief detour to the banal.

“Thanks, John. It’s six months old.” His iPhone was attached to a holder fixed on the dashboard. I asked if he used Google maps or Waze.

“I prefer Waze. I like it because it seems more intuitive, you can warn, and be warned, by other drivers who use Waze of changes in traffic, speed cams, hazards and so on.”

We were on Highway 101 approaching the exit to Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. I asked if he knew Oakland.

“Yes I do. I live in Alameda.” There was a silence, waiting for him to provide some context. I had a moment of doubt that my expectations for a quality exchange with Drupadh were too high.

Nonetheless I forged ahead. “Do you drive for both Lyft and Uber?”

“No more. I like Lyft better because we drivers get five more percentage points of the fare, 75% instead of Uber’s seventy. Also Uber has its problems, a lot of negativity in the press. Lyft is gaining market share.”

I had not used Uber in two years. I had arrived in SFO one evening near midnight from a flight. Used my Uber app to snag a ride home. Its screen confirmed a driver would arrive in twenty minutes. I noticed on the map the icon of the car seemed to be moving away, not towards me. I waited until thirty anxious minutes passed, my stress and anger increasing by the second. Five minutes later I got the message on my phone that the driver would not be able to pick me. My guess she, and it was a she, and had decided going all the way to Marin County at this hour was not in her interest, thinking getting a ride back into the city would be likely unlikely. I told Drupadh this story and he said once a Lyft driver accepts the call he must pick up the customer. 

Lyft is gaining market share. First time I heard a Lyft or Uber driver speak of the market share. Impressive. 

Feeling we had a bond of sorts developing with this exchange I asked him if he were Indian.

“I’m from Nepal.” 

“Oh, how long have you been in the U.S.?”

We were now across the bridge heading towards Berkeley and a logjam of vehicles ahead. The three lane highway east and cars crawling at turtle pace.

“Been here for nearly two years. Received financial aid to study for my doctorate degree in Economics.” 

He mentioned the college or university, one I hadn’t heard clearly or at all. No recognition. I decided not to ask again and instead submitted, “Are you still engaged in that study?”

“No, I got bored, I’m ashamed to say. I’ve applied for the lottery to gain US citizenship but missed it last year so I have one more chance.”

“What’s the lottery and what’s one more chance mean?” Showing a little ignorance, particularly when not feigned, is usually a way to create a feeling of “class,” or social equivalency, with the driver. This I find essential because while both parties in the car know who the customer is, and an American truism inculcated since into our brain since the arrival of our second set of teeth we know that the customer is always right. And showing you’re a regular guy even and always as the customer is a key to a more successful ride.

He responds immediately. “Each year people from most foreign countries who are in the US on a green card visa can file electronically for citizenship. I filed and was not selected. Last year about ten million people filed and 100,000 were the lucky winners. Completely by chance. And that really is unfair, and in my opinion stupid policy by the US. This country needs immigrants with skills and education. I have both. And this year since I’m not attending university which is why I got the green card visa, if I don’t get lucky I’ll have to leave the country.”

I knew nothing of this lottery. I knew we granted a lot of immigrants citizenship each year but how many I had no idea. When I returned home I googled. In fiscal year 2016, 752,800 people were naturalized.

I asked about his educational experience.

“We were poor. My mother used to wake me up two hours before my elementary and high school class to review with her my homework, and to ask me questions. I graduated first academically from my high school which enabled me to get my degree in business administration, paid for by our government, at a top Nepal university.

“I wanted to study economics, get my master’s degree and heard about a program in Turkey that was offering foreign students free tuition, room and board for certain doctorate programs. Economics being one. I was accepted. There I had a Muslim roommate, as did about twenty other foreign students who had been selected to get advanced degrees free of charge. What I learned was none of us foreigners were of the Islam religion. We each were assigned a Muslim roommate whose job it was to convert us to their religion. My roommate was a lazy guy who seldom attended class but spoke to me every day, telling me Allah is the unique, omnipotent and only deity and creator of the universe. He said that in the Koran it was a sin if a Muslim who had the opportunity to convert non-believers and didn’t take it seriously.”

Having my instinctive belief that organized religion has done so many un-godly things, and having recently watched on YouTube double digit Christopher Hitchens’ debates with leading Christians, Jews and Muslims arguing quite persuasively, there is no proof that a god exists and religion “poisons everything,” I responded to Drupadh with enthusiasm. We agreed that monotheistic religion, particularly that of Islamic radicalism, was the source or driver of many wars over the centuries. And Christianity was not much better, I added, thinking of the Crusades and the Thirty Years War in which Protestants and Catholics butchered each other throughout Western Europe. Hitchens pointed out that every leader of the nations involved with starting the First World War were Christians and that Hitler in his second paragraph of Mein Kempf mentioned he was a Christian. We had been in the car for forty minutes and we were still crawling toward Oakland. 

Having exhausted our rants on religion and my interest in his life peaking, I asked what he did after his MBA in Turkey. I was now certain he was at least thirty years old. 

“I was hired by the founder of the largest private poultry company in Turkey as the chief financial officer. We sold our products through retail.”

I said, “My son who you are driving me to see is more or less in that business. His company represents small food producing companies which are not large enough to afford a sales force to gain distribution in retail food stores. And his job is to get his client’s products into these stores throughout the Bay Area.”

“Well, John, that gives me an idea. I still maintain contact with my boss from there. He would love to get distribution in the U.S. He sells his poultry products for a third the price in Turkey we pay here.”

I said, “I’ll ask my son to contact you.” He reached over the seat and handed me a card with his name and email address.

We were now two miles from where I was meeting Lee, a restaurant near the Fox Theater.

I had read in the latest Economist a negative article about Turkey’s President Recap Erdogan and his continued move towards authoritarian governance.

“Drupadh, what is going on with Erdogan?”

“He did a lot of good things initially. But now he has jailed thousands of people and has become more stridently Islamist. He thinks the remedy of the nation’s financial problems is to borrow more money ignoring that too much causes inflation.”

“Yes, so I’ve read. But what about this issue over his refusing to release an American pastor accused of terrorism?”

“Yes, that’s true but the U.S. won’t extradited Erdogan’s longtime political opponent who now lives in Pennsylvania. Erdogan believes this man was behind the recent failed coup to overthrow the government. I think Trump should make the deal, a trade sending both of them home.”

“Yes, but wouldn’t that result in the Turkish man here going to prison for life in Turkey? I read this guy here has a large following among well-educated and professional Turks.”

“That’s true but both countries are being hurt by this. Turkey is moving away from the West, closer to Russia and the US. is losing support among the people of Turkey.”

We turned off the highway and I shook Drupadh’s hand goodbye. And wished him luck in the upcoming lottery.

Not many lifts can spark this kind of conversation. 

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‘WHEN DID THE SCREAMING STOP’

by Jeffrey St. Clair

“The screams of children have been edited out…”

– Editorial note appended to videos of the police response to the Uvalde shooting.

A truck speeds past the parking lot of Robb Elementary School, turns abruptly and crashes into the ditch amid a cloud of dust. Two men turn towards the wreck and then retreat as the driver starts firing at them with an AR-15 rifle. The crash is seen by a teacher who calls 9-11. She tells the operator: “I can’t see him. The kids are running. The kids are running. Oh my god.”

After firing several blasts of shots toward the school, the Uvalde shooter enters the building. It’s now 11:33 in the morning. By this time, several more 9/11 calls have alerted the police to a shooting incident at the school. A school security camera records the shooter as he saunters down the hallway, pauses briefly to peer around a corner, runs a hand through his hair, then continues down the hall toward classrooms 111 and 112.

At this point, a young boy wearing glasses comes out of the bathroom on the left side of the hall, freezes when he sees the shooter open fire, then runs back into the bathroom.

The killer continues shooting inside the classrooms for about 2 minutes and 30 seconds, firing more than 100 rounds.

At 11:36, the same security camera shows numerous police enter the building and move cautiously down the hall. A minute later, the police come running back after taking fire from the gunman. One officer is seen holding his head, thinking he’d been shot. He looks at his hand. Doesn’t see any blood. Shakes his head. Another cop is shown checking his phone, using his handgun as a stylus. His lock screen depicts the logo for “The Punisher.” But this man is no avenging super-hero. He cowered for more than an hour while kids as young as 9-years-old bled out just down the hall.

By 11:52, more police have gathered in the hall, which is crowded now with cops. Many of the new arrivals are outfitted in SWAT gear: helmets, body armor, assault rifles. Several are carrying bullet-proof shields.

The digital time stamp reads 12:09 and the police are still mulling about at the end of the hall, far from the classrooms, where the screams of terrified and wounded children have been muted so as not to distress us. More than 36 minutes have ticked by since the killer entered the building.

At 12:21, the shooter fires four more shots. A couple of cops flinch at the sound of the gunfire. More screaming comes down the hall. We don’t hear it, but the cops do. Slowly a group of police with guns, shields and body armor move down the corridor. One cop can be heard saying, “They’re making entry.”

More time passes. Two minutes. Five minutes. Seven minutes. Nine minutes. It’s now 12:30. Fifty-seven minutes after the killer entered the building. Fifty-four minutes after the first police set foot in the hallway. Thirty-eight minutes after the SWAT team showed up with the ballistic shields. Still no entry has been made. No entry has even been attempted.

The camera shows a plainclothes cop in a helmet walk across the hall to a dispenser on the wall. He squirts some sanitizer into his cupped hands. Rubs them together, as if scrubbing his hands of the entire affair, then ambles back to his position behind a corner.

Then at 12:50, there’s the sound of more rapid gunfire, as police finally opened the unlocked classroom door and a Border Patrol agent shot and killed the gunman, an hour and seventeen minutes after he first entered the building and killed 19 students and two teachers and wounded 17 others. Seventy-seven minutes. When did the screaming stop?

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NEWSPAPERS are owned and published by rich men. Rich men all belong to the same club. Sure there’s competition – hard, tough competition for circulation, for newsbeats, for exclusive stories. Just so long as it doesn’t damage the prestige, privilege and position of the owners. If it does, the lid comes down.

(Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye)

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THE HOUSE OF PELOSI just passed a $840 billion Pentagon spending bill, which more Republicans (62) voted against than Democrats (39). For perspective, the Pentagon appropriation is nearly 20 times larger than the amount ($44 billion) the Biden administration requested to confront the biggest threat to the planet: climate change. 

— Jeffrey St. Clair

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THIS PROXY WAR HAS NO EXIT STRATEGY

by Caitlin Johnstone

The International Committee of the Democratic Socialists of America has released a statement opposing the US government's ongoing proxy war in Ukraine, saying the billions being funneled into the military-industrial complex "at a time when ordinary Americans are struggling to pay for housing, groceries, and fuel" is "a slap in the face for working people." The statement advocates a negotiated settlement for peace, saying continuing to pour weapons into the country will "needlessly prolong the war, resulting in more civilian deaths" and that it "risks escalating and widening the war – up to and including nuclear war."

In response to this entirely reasonable and moderate position, the DSA is currently being raked over the coals with accusations of Kremlin loyalty and facilitation of murder and bloodshed by blue-checkmarked narrative managers on Twitter. This is because the only acceptable positions for anyone of significant influence to have about this war range from supporting continuing current proxy warfare operations to initiating a direct hot war between NATO and Russia.

That's how narrow the permissible spectrum of debate has been shrunk regarding this conflict: status quo hawkish to omnicidal hawkish. Anything outside that spectrum gets framed as radical extremism. As Noam Chomsky said: "The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”

This spectrum of debate has been shrunk on the one hand by imperial spinmeisters continually hammering home the message that any support for de-escalation and diplomatic solutions is "appeasement" and indicative of Russian sympathies, and on the other by hawkish pundits and politicians pushing for the most freakishly aggressive responses to this war possible. By forbidding the spectrum of acceptable debate to move toward peace while shoving it as hard as possible in the direction of warmongering extremism, imperial narrative managers have successfully created an Overton window wherein the only debate permitted is over how directly and forcefully Russia should be confronted, with calls for peace now falling far outside that window.

Which is a problem, because both direct NATO hot war with Russia and continuing along the empire's current course of action in Ukraine are stupid. Direct conflict between nuclear powers likely means a very fast and very radioactive third world war, and the status quo proxy warfare approach isn't stopping Russia as more and more territory is taken in the east in cool defiance of western claims that Ukraine is bravely vanquishing its evil invaders. Biden administration officials have told the press that they doubt Ukraine will even be able to reclaim the territory it has lost already. Unless and until something significant changes, Ukraine has no apparent path to victory in this war anytime soon.

In short, there is no exit strategy to this proxy war. There are no plans in place to deliver Putin a swift defeat, and the Biden administration remains steadfastly dismissive of even the slightest gestures toward diplomacy with Moscow. Boris Johnson has reportedly been buzzing around admonishing Ukraine's President Zelensky, France's President Macron and who knows who else not to work toward peace in Ukraine. The doors to ending this war quickly by either winning it or negotiating a peace settlement are both bolted shut, all but guaranteeing a long and bloody slog.

Which as it turns out suits Washington just fine. Biden administration officials have stated that the goal is to use the Ukraine war to "weaken" Russia, and the US already has an established pattern of working to draw Moscow into costly military quagmires as we saw in both Afghanistan and Syria. Continuing to pour weapons and military intelligence into Ukraine while working to cut Russia off from the world stands no chance of ending the war in a timely manner, but it does stand a pretty good chance of bleeding and weakening Moscow.

And since this is the course of action that has been taken by the empire, we can only assume that this is its desired outcome: not victory, not peace, but a long and gruelling war.

One of the major recurring criticisms of the Iraq invasion was that Bush rushed into it without an exit strategy, without a plan for ending the war once it had been started. This proxy war with Russia not only lacks a strategy for ending the war, it apparently consists entirely of strategies for not ending the war. No exit strategy is the strategy.

Whenever you point out the insanity of this approach you'll get useful idiots of the empire objecting that by criticizing US proxy warfare and supporting a negotiated settlement you are guilty of "appeasement" and exactly the same as Neville Chamberlain, because the only argument empire apologists ever have is to compare every US-targeted government to Nazi Germany.

According to these propaganda-addled empire automatons, having the story of not compromising with Putin-Hitler and not committing the sin of "appeasement" is worth sacrificing everyone in the entire nation of Ukraine for. They will happily throw every Ukrainian life into the gears of this war while they sit safe at home eating Funyuns and tweeting, just so they can have that "we didn't compromise with Putin" story hanging on their mental mantlepiece.

How many more lives are such people prepared to feed into an unwinnable war which the west knowingly provoked? How many more of other people's children are they prepared to sacrifice? How long does the bloodshed need to drag on before their "no appeasement" story loses value to them? How long until people wake up from their propaganda-induced comas and realize we've been manipulated into supporting a proxy war which benefits ordinary people in no real way, and in fact impoverishes us and threatens our very lives?

There is no morally consistent argument for continuing this proxy war in the way it has been going. If you actually value life and peace, the only way out is through negotiation and compromise. I point this out not because I believe it will happen, but to hopefully help a few more people open their eyes to the fact that we are being deceived.

(caitlinjohnstone.com)

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IT IS INTERESTING TO SEE HOW THE ESTABLISHMENT DEALS WITH DISSENT. It gives you a fair idea of who the establishment really is. You see who crawls out of the woodwork to take you on. Very often, it's an unexpected person. It's not the people who are completely on the other side of the spectrum, who are completely opposed to your point of view. It will be cowardly people who position themselves as being "balanced" critics. They really can't deal with the real questions because they are instinctively undemocratic. There is nothing they condemn more passionately than passion. But I insist on the right to be emotional, to be sentimental, to be passionate.…

When people try to dismiss those who ask the big public questions as being emotional, it is a strategy to avoid debate. Why should we be scared of being angry? Why should we be scared of our feelings, if they're based on facts? The whole framework of reason versus passion is ridiculous, because often passion is based on reason. Passion is not always unreasonable. Anger is based on reason. They're not two different things. I feel it's very important to defend that. To defend the space for feelings, for emotions, for passion. I'm often accused of the crime of having feelings. But I'm not pretending to be a "neutral" academic. I'm a writer. I have a point of view. I have feelings about the things I write about — and I'm going to express them.

— Arundhati Roy, from The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile (2003 coauthored with David Barsamian)

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ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

“Racist” and “misogynist” used to mean that a man would disparage and even impede ALL of an entire race or sex universally and unfairly to the individuals of that race or sex.

In efforts to correct this unfair treatment, the pendulum has now swung WAY too far – past equality and to the ridiculous point where any individual black or woman is now above accountability as any criticism whatsoever lest their criticizer be swiped with the label of the ironically stigmatizing “racist” or “misogynist” thus validating and even encouraging all sorts of despicable behavior from fully-entitled assholes.

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Dr. Homer Wolfe and Fellow Physician, Albion Lumber Company, 1915

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A TALE OF THE TACO

by James Kunstler

What to make of this bizarre headline out of The Washington Examiner?

First impression: well, that’s at least one they’ll send back.

The story continues: “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has requested that the Columbus [Ohio] Police Department notify federal officers when 27-year-old Gerson Fuentes is released from custody so that he can be transferred to federal detention and begin removal proceedings in court.”

Say, what…? Released from custody? Removal proceedings? Why would you release a felony rape suspect from the jurisdiction of his crime? Which he has confessed to, by the way. And remove him — that is, deport him… out of the USA… to where exactly? And into what legal apparatus? In what other country? With what obligation to prosecute crimes committed elsewhere in the world?

Meanwhile, attention in the case had shifted to the doctor in Indiana, one Caitlin Bernard, who performed the abortion. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita joined the rumpus: “We’re gathering the evidence as we speak, and we’re going to fight this to the end, including looking at her licensure if she failed to report. And in Indiana, it’s a crime … to intentionally not report,” Rokita declared on Fox News.

Days later, The Indiana Star newspaper said that Dr. Bernard’s rape report documents had been found. The New York Times added: “Kathleen DeLaney, a lawyer for Dr. Bernard, said in a statement that Dr. Bernard was considering legal action against those who had ‘smeared’ her, including Mr. Rokita….” You know things are bad in this country when the lawyers have to lawyer-up against the doctors who lawyer-up.

Speaking of medical matters… do you think anyone in authority will look into whether the rape suspect, Gerson Fuentes, was vaccinated at the time of these rapes (he raped the girl on two separate occasions)? Could he have transmitted SARS-Covid-19 to the girl? Somebody, please, alert Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra to make something positive of this dreadful incident, say, produce a public service announcement, to impress on Americans the urgent need for absolutely everybody to get vaccinated, including undocumented rapists.

Perhaps confessed rapist Gerson Fuentes himself can make a personal appeal to the nation, since he will soon be released from custody, and, theoretically, be available to perform on TV: Puse en peligro a una niña! Obtenga su vacuna! (I endangered a little girl! Get your vaccination!). Put Gerson in a costume as… a breakfast taco! — genius! — who doesn’t like them! Let’s face it, America’s sick and tired of seeing dour old Rochelle Walensky pitch the shots. She doesn’t look anything like a breakfast taco. More like a slab of beef brisket that’s been simmering overnight on the steam-table, minus the bun.

Has anyone noticed, by the way, that the US is under an invasion of breakfast tacos? So many of them, and so many kinds! Huevos con chorizoHuevos y tocinoHuevos con queso! The diversity is staggering! Oddly, the US fast food industry has remained silent on the issue, despite the threat to their operations. Someone, please, send a memo to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas: a mighty influx of breakfast tacos marches day-and-night across our border with Mexico. They are being distributed — for free! — by bus and airplane from sea to shining sea — while millions of Egg McMuffins, Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Croissan’wiches, Grand Slamwiches, Kickin’ Maple Chicken BreakFEASTs, Country Fried Steak Biscuits, Chocolate Chip/Pecan Waffles, and Texas Melts go uneaten, wilting under the infrared Glo-Ray warming bulbs of American franchise eateries.

The wonder really is: how can America even manage to eat breakfast with its head so far up its ass? Perhaps Dr. Jill Biden can address that question in an upcoming speech to the National Association of Colorectal Surgeons. Now that the mRNA vaccines have Covid-19 so well under control — ask Dr. Anthony Fauci (he knows!) — shouldn’t we be concerned with this new scourge of cranial rectosis (the next pandemic)? Have Americans been wearing their masks over the wrong bodily orifice? Is anyone conducting a peer-reviewed study on this?

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

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MEMO OF THE AIR: Good Night Radio all night Friday night!

Hi! Marco here. Deadline to email your writing for Friday night's (MOTA show is around 6 or 7pm. After that, send it whenever it's ready and I'll read it on the radio next week.

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

Any day or night you can go to https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com and hear last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night the recording of tonight's show will also be there. Also there you'll find a stuffed giraffe of inspirational treasures to hug to yourself until showtime, or any time, such as:

So much fun!

https://laughingsquid.com/talking-heads-life-during-wartime-1983/

John Oliver on the subject of water. It's just 20 minutes long. Give it all 20 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtxew5XUVbQ

And "How does one achieve eternal bliss? By saying dada. How does one become famous? By saying dada. With a noble gesture and delicate propriety. Till one goes crazy. Till one loses consciousness. How can one get rid of everything that smacks of journalism, worms, everything nice and right, blinkered, moralistic, Europeanized, enervated? By saying dada. Dada is the world soul, dada is the pawnshop. Dada is the world's best lily-milk soap. Dada." —Hugo Ball

https://boingboing.net/2022/07/14/happy-birthday-dada-106-today.html

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

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CAJUN DANCE, Crowley, Louisiana, 1938

3 Comments

  1. Lazarus July 16, 2022

    Mr. AVA,
    Where’s the latest Measure B meeting analysis?
    Laz

  2. Chuck Dunbar July 16, 2022

    “A TALE OF THE TACO”

    Man, James Kunstler has outdone himself today—what a whacko piece of nonsense he’s written. The drugs are getting stronger and he’s taking doses he can’t handle. An intervention must be attempted before he goes all the way off the cliff, or do we even care..…

  3. Craig Stehr July 16, 2022

    Sitting here quietly at the Ukiah Public Library, having finished reading the New York Times, whilst digesting the sushi and kombucha lunch enjoyed at the Ukiah Co-op air conditioned cafe earlier. The mind is chanting the Hare Krishna maha mantra continuously. Oh Jivan Muktas (liberated souls), let us organize into strategic groups for the expressed purpose of destroying the demonic and returning this world to righteousness. I may freely leave Ukiah’s Building Bridges homeless shelter at any time. Health is good at 72, $1200 on hand for my use, dental work is completed, peace of heart and mental clarity as well. What are we waiting for? Those who identify as the Eternal Brahman, and not the body and not the mind, but only the Immortal Self, are encouraged to make contact. Thank you very much.
    Craig Louis Stehr
    Email: craiglouisstehr@gmail.com
    Telephone Messages: (707)234-3270
    Share Money Here: PayPal.me/craiglouisstehr
    da blog: http://craiglstehr.blogspot.com
    Snail Mail: P.O. Box 938, Redwood Valley, CA 95470
    16.VII.’22

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